As a Missionary of the Precious Blood, I have been fortunate to give retreats and attend gatherings in various places around the world. I always try to pick up a stone from the place where I have visited to remind me that I have been blessed to stand on holy ground. My prayer table at home has stones from Tanzania, Guatemala, Italy, Germany, Austria, Korea, Vietnam, and almost every state in the U.S. These remind me of the “living stones” I met along the way whose love, fidelity, and compassion gave me a glimpse of the Risen Lord.
In today’s second reading from Peter, we hear the call to live our identity as “living stones” that are being built “into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood.” Peter calls us to be a community of priests, of bridge-builders, of holy people. The Vatican II vision of a common priesthood of all baptized believers is founded here. Our priesthood is born in baptism not ordination. Indeed, we see how the ministry of service and servant leadership in the early church community enacted in today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles as the ministry of deacon is born. Early in the evolution of the institution, it became clear that the eyewitnesses to the resurrection, the inner circle of the community, needed help in the rapidly growing community of faith.
Jesus, of course, is the cornerstone of whatever we build in faith. He is the “living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God.” He is the cornerstone of a new creation, this living temple, built at the very fault lines of society where the poor and homeless and most vulnerable fall through the cracks. As living stones, we are being constructed by God into a new creation community, “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own.” Jesus picks up this theme of construction by reminding his disciples that the blueprint for this new creation is made in heaven. He promises them, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith in me also. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.”
We believe we are saved and redeemed in the blood of Christ. How is this work of salvation being revealed in our lives right now? How are we being “living stones” being built by God into a new creation?
- Rev. Joe Nassal, C.PP.S.
Kansas City Province
As May 14th is Mother’s Day, may we honor those holy women, our Moms, living and deceased, whose love, service, and shelter revealed to us the true meaning of being a “living stone” built on the cornerstone of Christ.