“Then he looked at them and said, ‘What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.’ Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will crush.” (Lk 20: 17-18)
Isn’t this a bit “harsh,” for our Lord Jesus Christ, the rejected “stone” of the “builders,” to say about Himself? Does He want us to be “broken” or “crushed,” if we reject Him?
No, of course He doesn’t want that. But He’s talking about what “we” want; about “our” choices. And He tells us the truth about these, by the great love and respect He has for us. Here He squarely “looks at” us, His disciples, and tells us very directly about the difference between, and consequences of, our bad choices and our good choices, in this whole “building” project with which we are entrusted, – our life. He doesn’t tell us we are all “winners,” regardless of what we do; we won’t “all” get some kind of “participation trophy.” Is that un-loving or un-compassionate of Him? No. It’s dignifying and hence empowering, because He’s recognizing our responsibility, – literally, our “response-ability” or “ability to respond” to His call to salvation, to wholeness in communion with our Creator. We “can,” alternately, choose the fragmentation or “brokenness” of existing outside of Him, like debris floating about in a sea of meaninglessness. But this choice, of pulling out the “cornerstone” from our “building,” causes it to collapse. It’s a choice that has consequences not only in this life, but even more so in the next, where the full “weight” of our bad choices (and not of God’s choices) will be ever-more “crushing.”
Thank You, Lord, for dignifying and empowering us with the truth. …Just as You’ve dignified us with others of Your powers, like forgiveness. Today, “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” and as we continue to make our way, however imperfectly, toward choosing You.