Life can be ironic. A young man applied to an exclusive boys’ high school but was turned down for health reasons. Devastated, the young man enrolled in a public school where he nevertheless excelled in everything he did. Later, the boy, once grown up as an accomplished professional educator, became the director of the school that refused him many years before.

St. Peter describes the Lord Jesus using the imagery of a stone, to be exact, a cornerstone. This image is taken from the biblical Book of Psalms that speaks of “the stone rejected by the builders but has turned out to be the cornerstone.” In the ancient times, masons before constructing grand edifices, checked the quality of stones to be used. The most important stone was the cornerstone or capstone – the first stone to be laid at the construction site and also the last stone to complete any building. Finding the perfect cornerstone, the workers rejoiced.

Peter was illustrating the divine irony in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. The elders and religious leaders did not find in Jesus anything but nuisance, danger, and threat to their traditions and positions. In eliminating Jesus, they rejected what they did not know to be the capstone of salvation in the divine plan of God for the salvation of Israel and the whole world. Through the Resurrection, God declared himself the Father of Jesus and confirmed his chosen vessel for the reconciliation all humanity with himself and with one another. How great was the people’s mistake!

Do people still reject the Lord Jesus today? In the more secularized parts of our planet, many people turn back on their Christian faith and embrace a life of unbelief. A man started a movement for “unbaptism” – petitioning his church to remove his name from the baptismal records. Young people come home from college or the workplace declaring to their parents that they no longer practice the religion their parents reared them in.

Even Christians reject the Lord, albeit in indirect and even unconscious ways. We go to church and obey the religious tenets, but we are unfair or unjust to others. Some preach the Bible not for service but for profit or gain. We hold conferences on spreading the Gospel to all people but neglect acts of charity and mercy to our subordinates or workers. We go crazy welcoming and venerating the relics of saints but forget to assist the suffering poor around us.

Let us be honest in confronting ourselves with this Easter challenge. In what ways do we reject the Lord in our lives? What area of our life is closed or unaffected or insensitive to his presence, his message and his demands? Is Jesus inviting us to accept and declare him as Lord not through words but through simple but sincere actions?