Study: Reflect on a challenging time in your life. How did you give and/or receive strength from others?
Pray: For what particular strength do you need to ask the Lord? Come to the “Living Stone” who is Jesus and seek the strength you need!
Serve: Where can you cooperate with others right now? How can your strength help others ?
Imagine a piece of construction brick or stone. At a distance the pieces look the same, with similarities in color, texture, shape, and size. Yet on closer examination we perceive that every piece of brick or stone is different; when seen clearly each stone is unique.
We use stones all the time in our building and construction. We use them in walls, fireplaces, foundations, and paving. Stones possess an inherent toughness – they are the bones of the earth – which makes them useful and vital in life.
In the second reading we hear how the Scriptures use the image of a stone in our life of faith. Peter writes that all people should come to Jesus, a living stone, so that we might be built into a spiritual house. Following the example of Jesus, we become “living stones” that all might see God’s kingdom here on earth.
Stones remind us of two important points. First, stones are strong, and we are called to live our faith with the same durability and toughness. Life is not easy, and there are times when we recognize our weakness and failures. Yet through our relationship with Christ we gain strength and power that we do not have by ourselves. Through Christ our talents and gifts become strong resources to be used by God.
Second, in construction stones are used in cooperation with others, and this same cooperation is part of our human experience. Take a stone or brick out of a wall and it becomes weaker; take a person out of a community and a change is felt. Simply put, just as a stone adds strength to those around it, so to our lives make a profound difference on those around us.
As living stones we offer our God-given strengths and abilities to build up God’s people here on earth. Sharing our lives, we become a powerful tool through which Jesus Christ continues to be revealed to all people through time.
Stones teach us about strength and cooperation. These insights are part of every human experience and are used throughout our lives. As God’s living stones we discover that our faith gives us power when we work together with those around us. May that power help us to build God’s kingdom, leading others to Christ.