|llustration by Vicki Schuck|
During the Easter Season - between Easter Vigil until Pentecost - the first reading in the Catholic liturgy is taken from the Acts instead of from the Old Testament.
The Book of Acts demonstrates the early Church and how the early Christians provided for each other. This is a model that may seem impossible to achieve today, a utopia. St. Padre Pio once said that if Christians everywhere would actually live their lives to the fullest as the early Christians did, there would be no need for government services. Nevertheless, while we may not be able to transform all of society, we can transform our little spheres of influence. I contend when the Knights of Columbus repair a parishioner's fence or build a wheel chair ramp, they are living as the apostles did.
Living the lives of the apostles requires more than simply performing acts of charity, it also means evangelizing. Most of us are not called to be priests or to the religious life. Instead, most of us are called to be ordinary people (yes, Joe Catholics) working and living in secular society. It is there that we are called to evangelize by our example. As the hymn goes, "they will no we are Christians by our love." They will know and want to be like you because they see a positive change in you because of the Lord's work in you, because you have become Christ to others. It means living and sharing your faith precisely where you have been planted in life.
For more on this subject, I recommend reading the first few chapters of Scott Hahn's book: Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace