Octave of Easter (F)
At the very core of our being-creatures, we desire intimacy with God; our imperfection as creatures desires His perfection as our Creator. This yearning brings us to a radical choice: (very simply put) I either embrace my lack of perfection and seek the perfection God offers through Christ; or in my folly, I make my imperfection a god and worship it with my whole being, pushing God further and further away, adding to the distance btw us; making gods of my passions and adoring my creatureliness. For most of us, we walk the fine line somewhere btw surrendering to God and surrendering to Self. Like the disciples on the Sea of Tiberius, we can be afraid to ask Christ, “Who are you?” We can hesitate to ask the question b/c we know who he is, and his answer means we must make a choice. Surrender to God or surrender to Self.
Peter puts this choice in unequivocal terms. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he preaches to the leaders, elders, and scribes in Jerusalem: “There is no salvation through anyone else [but Christ], nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” That makes the choice easy, right? You'd think so anyway. But don't you sometimes experience the anxiety of the choice? What does choosing Christ mean for my daily thoughts, words, and deeds? What happens to me if I choose Christ? My friends? My job? My freedom? Can I trust God's will for me if I give Him mine? No doubt the disciples squatting on the seashore are thinking along the same lines. If this guy is the Lord (and he is!), then what about all those promises he made about persecution? Trial and defeat? Death at the hands of our enemies? Can I really call him Lord and do what he commands, knowing what I know about what's to come? There is no other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved. No other name. So, the choice is clear. And when we make the choice – to follow him – he arrives with food and drink, his Body and Blood, and takes us up with him in glory so that we too can know God his Father and ours and get on with our business – the business of surrender, thanksgiving, and praise; the business of being love and mercy in the world; the business of showing everyone that choosing Christ is the way to perfection. The stone the builders rejected is the cornerstone.