21 April, 2020

The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul.

~ Acts 4:32 ~

The disciples, united in heart and soul, enjoyed the gift of solidarity. They owned all in common and shared with those in need. This togetherness helped them to bring the face of Jesus to their communities. The people they were preaching to, valued and respected all they were saying about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They welcomed Barnabas, a Levite from Cypriot, as one of them in the group. Barnabas was not judged and excluded because he was a foreigner. The disciples are showcasing something the world today is struggling with, accepting one another.

In the Gospel, Jesus responds to Nicodemus, saying “We speak only about what we know and witness only what we have seen and you people reject our evidence.” (John 3:11)
We are often like the people that Jesus met. When we do not know, we pretend to know it all. This negative attitude makes it impossible for us to open our heart and soul to others. In order to speak about what we know, we need to experience the world with openness and welcome the other into our midst.
Our world has changed radically in the last few weeks. COVID-19 and lockdown are opportunities for us to reach out wholeheartedly. How are we going to accept the challenged to open our heart and soul to others, so that together we can ensure that,  no one is left wanting?


During this time of COVID-19, many of us feel restless and fearful. Lord, help us to reach out wholeheartedly to others, so that we may grow in love  and unity. Amen.


Catholic Parliamentary

Liaison Office

Jesuit Institute
South Africa

Reflection prepared by

Ms Puleng Matsaneng

Puleng works in Spirituality and researches Ignatian Spirituality in an African context. Her area of speciality is in exploring how African themes and practices of spirituality dialogue with the Western traditions, and how that is understood in relation to Ignatian Spirituality. She has looked at how Ignatian Spirituality can be integrated into the African worldview. Most especially, how the use of song and storytelling can be part of the prayer process. She is currently managing retreats in daily life and training prayer guides. Puleng is also involved in ongoing Spiritual Direction, giving 8-day and 30-day retreats. Her latest venture is a pilot programme of healing workshops that use the principles of Ignatian Spirituality.

See more from Puleng Matsaneng

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