“Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?’” – Matthew 21:42 The “cornerstone” (or foundation stone) concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, making it very important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure. In modern construction, the cornerstone is now primarily symbolic and decorative in nature. Over time a cornerstone became a ceremonial masonry stone, or replica, set in a prominent location on the outside of a building, with an inscription on the stone indicating the construction dates of the building and the names of architect, builder, and other significant individuals. For us to understand the significance of today’s Gospel, we need to return to the more ancient understanding. The cornerstone was the reference point or the determining factor regarding the position of all the other stones and thus the entire building. As we ponder today’s readings, we are to ask ourselves whether we are willing to build our lives upon the one who was rejected, despised, and who was killed. Yes, Jesus was the Father’s beloved Son, but are we willing to make him our beloved? Are we willing to let Jesus Christ become the cornerstone of our lives and our discipleship? Will we let Him determine the position of all the “stones” or aspects that form all that we are and all that we do? It won’t be easy, because if Jesus was rejected it is quite likely that we will as well. We may have friends and relatives who think we are just a bit “radical” for a modern day Christian. We may hold views and see the world with in ways that co-workers and neighbors find dangerous or antithetical to our culture. We may seem out of touch or behind the times. We may find ourselves despised and rejected in order to live for and with Christ. This comprises what it means to be part of what the Lord is doing and wishes to do in and with the lives of His disciples. Even if we as disciples look like an “ill-formed building” to the world around us because we are built on the Jesus Christ as our cornerstone, may we find peace in the knowledge that we are wonderful in the eyes of God. Today take some time to pray for perseverance to live out your faith as a stone firmly set on Christ the cornerstone. Lord Jesus Christ, I believe in You as my God and my Savior. Make me more faithful to Your Gospel and commandments. By sharing in the Eucharist, may I come to live more fully the life You have given me. Keep Your Love alive within my heart and soul so that I may live my discipleship worthily and well. Amen. Fr. Ron Hutchinson is the director of priestly vocations (www.grpriests.org) and the director of continuing formation for clergy. He has been a priest of the Diocese of Grand Rapids for 23 years.
© Diocesan Publications, 2017