Apr. 20: Fifth Sunday of Easter, Cycle A

Brother Nicholas, The Stone Rejected Has Been Made into the Head of the Corner, Speculum Humanae Salvationis, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, c.1450

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Acts 6:1-7
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
Second Reading: First Peter 2:4-9
Gospel: John 14:1-12

‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner (NRSV, 1 Pt 2:7b).’

Let us pray.

Father, the author of 1 Peter writes of Jesus as a stone, first rejected, then used as the cornerstone, not just any kind of stone, but rather a living stone which communicates life to all of the others stones of the building so that the whole building becomes alive.

Father, the first Christians were not yet much familiar with the dome which the Romans had only just invented. A dome is built upon scaffolding which holds all of the stones in place. Then finally a keystone is dropped into the open space in the apex of the dome. The keystone exerts pressure on the stones around it and they in turn on those around them and so on until finally all is held in place by the living forces unleashed by the keystone. The scaffolding, no longer needed, can be removed. The dome becomes alive through the forces distributed from the keystone.

Father, the first of your churches built with a dome is the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. There the forces exerted by the dome press down upon the apexes of four arches upon which it rests and the pendentives uniting the arches and upon which the dome also rests. The forces continue right to the ground. The whole building becomes alive by the forces coming from the keystone.

Father, Christ, the Word made flesh, is the living cornerstone, yes, even the keystone, of the Church and indeed of the whole human family. It is through him that your life comes to all who will accept it and grow in it. May every one of us be ever responsive to this life-giving force.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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