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.
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. For other references to NT prophets, see Eph 4:11; Acts 13:1, and 1 Cor 12:28 (see also CCC 857). capstone [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 temple sacred in the Lord: 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).
“So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God” Ephesians 2:19.
I love this reading from Ephesians as it speaks to the familial nature of the Church and of life that we have all experienced in some manner. For some, the image of family embodies rich and deeply connective memories founded in love. For others, the image of family brings back unpleasant and dark times, devoid of the true love we desire.
The beauty of being members of God’s household is that the Lord knows the disordered nature of our lives that have been affected by choices, many of which we never made but unfortunately must live in and through. In God’s house, St Paul tells us that Christ himself holds it all together through a love that unconditionally welcomes us in.
He notes that Jesus, as the capstone of God’s holy temple, is our refuge when life is beating us down and things seem to be in shambles. The house of the Lord is where we are truly one family, living in the love of Jesus Christ. All are invited to come and ask him, “Jesus, hold me together as I struggle with this life, I hand all the shattered pieces over to you.”
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.