Voices ever ancient, ever new. Lent, Week 2: Friday

“Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’?” (Matthew 21:42)

In an ancient work known as the Incomplete Work on Matthew, an anonymous Christian writer offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“Christ is called a stone for two reasons. First, because his foundation is solid and no one who stands upon him will fall victim to deceitful charms or be moved by the storms of persecution. Second, Christ is called a stone because in him is the ultimate destruction of the wicked, for just as everything which collides with a stone is shattered while the stone itself remains intact, so also everyone who opposes the Christian faith will himself be ruined, but Christianity will remain untouched. This is the sense in which Christ is the great stone. “Whoever falls on it will be broken to pieces, but it will crush those upon whom it falls.” It is one thing to be broken but something else again to be crushed, for sizeable pieces of whatever is broken remain, but whatever gets crushed is reduced to dust and utterly eliminated. The stone does not break those who fall upon it, but they break themselves who fall on the stone. Their destruction therefore is not attributable to the stone’s strength but to the violence with which they fall upon it.” (Homily 40)

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, purifying us by the sacred practice of penance,
you may lead us in sincerity of heart
to attain the holy things to come.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.