Scripture

Matthew 21: 40 – 46download

  38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’   39 So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’?   43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.  44 The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them.  46 They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

Reflection

“‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”   The piece that was tossed aside as insufficient, imperfect, was found to be the linchpin.

If you enjoy movies like me, that might sound like a familiar Hollywood plot line where a single outcast or group of rejects rise to conquer the day.  Think (way back) to “Bad News Bears” or  “Rocky”  (I – VI)!

But in a sense, it’s also the Christian experience.   It’s true of our Lord who, although perfect, was rejected and persecuted.  Nonetheless, he became “the Church’s one foundation.”   It’s also true of you and me.  Unlike our Lord, we have ample flaws.  Any builder might be wise to cast us aside when considering building the church.  But in spite of our defects, our Lord, who IS the master builder, can take each of us and find the perfect space that we uniquely fill.  Are we able to see the same possibilities in others?

Prayer by Sir Thomas More

O Lord,

Remember not only the men and women of good-will, but also those of ill-will.   But do not only remember all the suffering they have inflicted on us, remember the fruits we bought thanks to this suffering, our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, the courage, the generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this, and when they come to judgment, let all the fruits we have borne be their forgiveness.

Amen

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