Jesus the Cornerstone
In recent times, construction companies in Australia have taken strain with shortages in building materials, which has led to delays in building projects that has resulted in some companies going into liquidation. Having the correct materials and building skills is essential to complete buildings that meet safety standards. Since ancient times, builders have used cornerstones in their construction projects. A cornerstone was the principal stone, usually placed at the corner of a structure, to guide the workers in their course. The cornerstone was usually one of the largest, the most solid, and the most carefully constructed or chosen of any in the structure. The Bible describes Jesus as the cornerstone upon which His church is built. He is foundational. Once the cornerstone was set, it became the basis for determining every measurement in the remaining construction; everything was aligned to it. As the Cornerstone of the building of the Church, Jesus is our standard of measure and alignment.
The scriptures speak a lot about rocks and stones. The book of Isaiah has many references to the coming Messiah and in several places the Messiah is referred to as “the cornerstone”.
In the New Testament, the cornerstone metaphor is continued. St Paul desires for the Ephesian Christians to know Christ better: “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:19– 21).
What Isaiah said centuries before is affirmed by St Peter in this week’s second reading. Jesus, as our cornerstone, is “chosen by God and precious to Him”. The Cornerstone is also reliable, and “the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” .
Unfortunately, not everyone aligns with the Cornerstone. Some accept Christ; some reject Him. Jesus is the “stone the builders rejected” (Mark 12:10). Jesus was in fact rejected many times during his life on earth, but most especially at his crucifixion where he paid the ultimate price for our salvation.
How can people reject God’s chosen, precious Cornerstone? Simply put, they want to build something different from what God is building. Jesus is indeed our Cornerstone and the rock of our salvation.
We pray that in our troubled world today, more people will look to Jesus as the Cornerstone and foundation on which our salvation is built. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me”.
Deacon Michael Khoury