THE readings of Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter (Act 4,32-37 / Jn 3,7-15) somehow reminds us of two things: we need to live Christian poverty which demands all from us, and for that to take place, we need to be “born again,” so that the spirit of Christ would truly animate us and not just our human spirit.

Christian poverty is no joke. As depicted in the first reading, the believers of Christ sold or turned over everything, created a common fund which was distributed to everyone according to their needs.

This is a big challenge for us, considering that we always tend to get attached to the things of this world in a way that undermines true love that channels the very love of God for all of us.

Let us remember that in our relation with God, there is no middle ground. It is either we are with him completely or not at all. We have to overcome that strong tendency to think that we can be partly with God and partly with our own selves, even if we can say that we are giving God 99% of what we have and keep only 1% for us.

We have to give all! In fact, with God we have to give our very own selves, and not only things, not only some possessions. Remember Christ telling us that we have to love God with “all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Mt 22,37)

Let’s hope that we can echo these words of an old song: “I have no use for divided hearts. I give mine whole, and not in parts.” Let’s strive to reach that goal. It’s not an easy goal, but neither is it impossible. With God’s grace and our all-out humble efforts, we can hack it.
But given our human condition which allows us to learn things in stages, we have to understand that everyday we have to conquer our tendency to some earthly attachments so that we can say we are giving ourselves more and more to God until we give ourselves completely to him.

We have to learn to let go of our possessions, our preferences, our opinions, etc., until we can say that we are letting go of our whole selves so as to give everything to God.
This is what generosity is all about. Instead of feeling emptied, we feel filled with peace and joy. No earthly happening can add or diminish that peace and joy. It’s a peace and joy that can only be the effect of having God with us. As St. Teresa once said, “Solo Dios basta,” with God we have enough.

Christian poverty is never a state of misery and pure suffering and privation, even if in human eyes it can be seen that way. It is always motivated by love of God and neighbor, and is filled with all goodness, generosity and magnanimity.

It is a spirit of total self-giving that goes beyond any effort at quantification and measure. It’s never a matter of how much we give and keep. It’s purely a matter of total self-giving that identifies us with God of whom we are supposed to be his image and likeness.
We have to learn to develop and live this true spirit of Christian poverty which first of all would need God’s grace which we have to constantly beg and, of course, to exert our all-out effort.