As I look outside my office these days, I see piles of bricks and concrete ornaments which await their assembly on the face of a new building being constructed across the street. Although the pallets are carefully numbered, the possibility of a single brick being lost or discarded seems quite likely. Among so many, few stand out one from another.
“He is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.” Peter quotes this line from Psalm 118 as part of his answer to those who question a “good deed done to a cripple.” Jesus, the one discarded by the religious authorities, not only has been noticed and preserved by God; Jesus has become the most important and prominent of all. Their faith is based on him.
To his captors’ question, “By what power or by what name have you done this [healing]?” Peter unhesitatingly confesses, “. . . it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean. . . .” The statement of Peter proclaims that, far from remaining a mere precious memory to those who loved and followed him while he was on earth, this Jesus lives and exerts his power and influence through those who believe in him. Their reverence for Jesus far surpasses the respect due a dedicated but departed teacher; he lives, and they worship him as Lord! All things take place “in his name.”
“Jesus is the reason for the season” we sometimes hear at Christmas. But we might hear that phrase in this Easter Octave as well. And, as for Peter, for us this Jesus remains no mere precious memory, but he is the Lord who lives and who acts through the hearts of believers such as ourselves. This day in the Octave of Easter challenges us to make Jesus the cornerstone, the most important one, the Name. Perhaps an easy way to let this seep into our hearts would be to interiorly recite the name, “Jesus,” or the phrase, “Jesus is Lord” as we go through our day today and to sense therein the power and presence of the risen Lord.
There is no other name!
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