It is a phrase we have heard many, many times—so many that it passes through our thought process nearly unnoticed. Let’s take a moment to reflect and ruminate on the stone that the builders rejected.
What first comes to mind is the reason for rejecting it. Did its coloration not match the stones around it? Was the facing of the stone not compatible with the others? Was it not smooth enough or, maybe, was it too smooth? Was it heavier or lighter than what was expected, giving the builder a sense that its inner core was defective? Was one of its dimensions off a little? Perhaps it was not wide enough, not tall enough, not long enough. Maybe one of its dimensions was too great and the builder was unable to chisel it to the right size. Maybe it just didn’t fit!
Building with stone was as common to the people in St. Peter’s audience as mowing the lawn is to us. When he described Christ as the stone that the builders rejected they knew exactly what he meant. Do we?
Jesus did not fit the expectations of the people. They tried to make Him fit but He would not comply so they rejected Him. He became the cornerstone of the Church.
How does Jesus fit my expectations? Do I allow Him to be the cornerstone of my life or do I try to work Him into some other less important place? Do I accept Him for who He is and build my temple around Him or do I push Him aside because there is no place where He fits?
God doesn’t change to fit my expectations but He does ask me to change to fit His. He asks me to change my face and coloration to look like His so that the world will see Him instead of me. He would like to chisel me to fit the place He has planned for me in His Temple but He allows me to choose. I can trust Him to rework me to fit the spot He has planned for me or I can choose to seek a more prominent place in a worldly temple. If I choose the place in God’s Temple then it might be good to spend time contemplating how the Master Builder needs to re-form me to fit that place He has in mind for me…
and then allow Him to make the changes!