“The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.” The early Christian community applied this citation from Psalm 118, verse 22, to Jesus, as attested to here in the verse from Acts 4, verse 11 that introduces today’s reflection. This would have been a powerful message to the Jews in Jerusalem and to the people who were converting to the “The Way,” as it was known, before the label Christians was initiated in Antioch, which we see for the first time in Acts 11:26.
Jesus, the promised Messiah, was the One who was being referred to in Psalm 118. This is just one of many prophetic messages that were given about the Messiah in the Old Testament. We see in this one that the Messiah, the cornerstone, would be rejected by those who were “the builders” of the faith. It was to the Chosen People that the promise was made, and it was the leaders of the Jews, the priests and the Pharisees who rejected Jesus, the cornerstone that was prophesied, and had him crucified when he came.
It is important to recognize here that we are often no different than the Chief Priests and the Pharisees. For we, too, in our sinning, reject this cornerstone. When we sin, we are as guilty as the Pharisees, for when we sin, we too are hypocrites to our faith. We are hypocrites, because we know the truth and we willfully turn away from it, just as they did. So we, too, are being challenged by this word of God in this passage.
Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith, but he is the cornerstone of all of Creation too. We know this because we see this in the opening lines of John’s Gospel. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be” (John 1:1-3). Jesus, the Word, is the cornerstone of all that is, from the beginning. He is all the more, the cornerstone of our faith. Our faith stands on him, is built upon him, and find its support in him. Let us not reject him, for in doing so, we will fall away from all that is true, good, and beautiful. In him alone do we find our truest meaning and purpose.
Lord, give us the wisdom to put all of our faith in you alone. In you alone do we find our stability, in faith, and in our daily lives. Teach us to have hearts that yearn for you in all things. Help us to build our live on you, the cornerstone of all that is good and true and beautiful. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!
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