“There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the Apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need.” The principle of Solidarity is fundamental to Catholic social teaching. It is the basic idea that we are responsible for those in need around us. We, individually, are called to use our gifts for the good of others. This is not the responsibility of government; it is our personal responsibility to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. The early Christians lived this in a radical way, resembling modern Catholic religious life in a way.
They laid their goods at the feet of the Apostles. This kind of trust is rare today! When we find a trustworthy leader, it is easy for us to get on board with them in charitable actions. Even more difficult is the position where we find ourselves today—to identify for ourselves the needs within our reach and our responsibility and to meet those needs on our own. We are called to take the initiative in charity. It is not the responsibility of someone “further up the chain” to help the poor; it is our responsibility as those who see the poor firsthand. The Holy Spirit invites each of us actively to seek out those in need around us.
In this time of social isolation, we are responsible for making sure that there are no needy people among us. We need to check in on our neighbors, our extended family members, and anyone ‘near’ us who may be hurting in any way. What can we do today to extend the charity of Jesus Christ to someone in need?