Friday in the Octave of Easter
The first reading quotes often heard verse, “the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.” The corner stone sits at the top of the arch and supports the whole arch. Its centrality usually demands a stone of strength and of some aesthetic value since it frequently was at the top of the arch and seen by many. Certainly strength and beauty were attributes of the corner stone as they are attributes we look for in other projects as well. And of course this makes sense. You don’t want low grade iron for a bridge and you don’t want an ugly painting over the sofa. If we understand true strength, like well-forged steel, it is what resides within the fabric itself, not so much what is seen on the outside. A metallurgic example of this is found in the bible with the phrase “like gold that was tested in fire.” It may look like gold but only gold proves itself when melted and retains its bright color. In fact it is the heat that brings out its brightness.
The “stone rejected” theme courses through the scriptures and is echoed in the parables when Jesus describes things that are small such as grains of wheat and pieces of yeast as signs of the kingdom. This constant theme of the unexpected, the rejected, and the small as instruments of change are repeated time and time again in the scriptures, perhaps for a good reason. These stories remind us that change comes about in ways we do not expect and with resources we thought were insignificant.