A Foundation of Love

Brothers and sisters:
You are no longer strangers and sojourners,
but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones
and members of the household of God,
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Through him the whole structure is held together
and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;
in him you also are being built together
into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
(Ephesians 2:19-22)

Scripture Study

2:19 members: I.e., family members by virtue of divine adoption (1:5; Gal 4:5).

2:20 apostles and prophets: The foundation stones of the universal Church, here viewed as a spiritual temple (1 Pet 2:4–8). Both fulfilled the unrepeatable mission of establishing Christ’s kingdom in the world for all time. cornerstone: The first stone set in place when beginning construction on a new building, in this case a temple. It served as the square to line up the rest of the structure and was part of the foundation at the base of the edifice. The honored position of the cornerstone is a fitting description of Christ’s role as the immovable foundation of the Church (1 Cor 3:11). Some prefer to visualize Christ as the keystone that holds together a Roman archway, but cornerstones are generally foundation stones in Semitic architecture (Job 38:6; Jer 51:26). ● The term used here for cornerstone is found only in Is 28:16 in the Greek OT. Jewish tradition expressed in the Aramaic Targum of Isaiah viewed this stone as a symbol of the messianic “king” of Israel.

2:21 a holy temple: The Church is a spiritual sanctuary that is living and inclusive. Its foundation is Christ, his apostles, and the early Christian prophets (2:20); its walls are believers from every nation fitted and bonded together by grace (2:22); and its holiness comes from the sanctifying presence of the Spirit who dwells within (2:22) (CCC 756, 797).

Scripture Reflection

The writings today from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians explains the how Christians are one in spirit and community. The Church therefore has some of the characteristics of a family, and some of a community. In the family context, all members are united by paternal, filial and fraternal links where love presides.

As a community, we are the assembled children of God, who are to live as brothers and sisters, united by love. Grace, faith, hope, love and the action of the Holy Spirit are invisible realities which forge the links and bring together families and communities into the visible structure of the Church which is headed by Christ himself. At the core of the family and community is love, that singular virtue which is the locus of all believers lived faith.

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.