Again Jesus and the disciples came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.” They argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”—they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
Then he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this scripture:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes’?”
When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away. Mark 11:27—12:12
Every family has events, places and people that form the cornerstone of their relationships and stories. Many of those stories and people we have met in far flung places but they under-gird and support the love we share. Everything we know about ourselves is built up from the places where love grew, where people laughed and ate together, and who held us in hard times.
Jesus goes back to Jerusalem and angers the temple authorities so much that they want to kill him. He stands firm as the cornerstone of God's love on earth and they hate that. They hate that their power is superseded by some humble man who lives for others. They live for themselves and so reject love, healing and transformation. They are greedy while God incarnate is kind and loving. We are invited to remember that God is not found among the powerful and elite. God is found among the humble and the servants. These people are the building blocks of God's love.
Today I ask God to help me be humble and kind every moment. May we be found close to the cornerstone, not seeking power but always seeking love and healing.