Tuesday - October 20
Today’s first reading from the letter to the Ephesians contains a beautiful summary of the Gospel – that in Christ, God has brought about our reconciliation and peace through the blood of Christ. Christ himself is that peace, bringing together into one what previously was thought could not be united.
This reconciled and united human race Paul imagines as a building, a temple sacred to the Lord God, with Christ as the capstone.
A capstone is not a cornerstone. There is a difference between the two.
The capstone, traditionally, was a stone placed at the top of a pyramid or building, both signifying its completion and as protection for the walls below. Capstones were often considered the most important part of the building, and elaborately decorated to signify the culmination of the achievement. In ancient times, if my research is correct, a capstone kept two sides of an arch firmly in place, making the two sides one arch.
This sacred temple God has built for himself holds together with Christ as its capstone. Whatever architectural design Paul has in mind, he teaches that everything (everyone) in held together in and by Christ, on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets (perhaps representing Gentile and Jew?) No one is out of place, the stones fit together and form this beautiful temple. The building of this temple grows as new believers are added, and becomes a beautiful dwelling place for God here on earth. How that beauty develops will be found in Friday’s first reading.