I will not reject anyone who comes to me. . . . And I shall raise him on the last day. 

On April 18th, 1506— over 512 years ago—the cornerstone of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome was laid.   The Basilica was designed to be an awe-inspiring edifice representing the coming together of heaven and earth.   Its massive dome sits atop a cruciform structure whose arms reach out in four directions.   Think of heaven hovering over the four corners of earth.   The Basilica can hold a staggering 20,000 people.   This monument to our first pope has withstood wars, earthquakes, invasions, and the inevitable erosion of time.

Of course, the Basilica won’t last forever.   In fact it’s constructed on the site of a much older St. Peter’s—a nod to the current Basilica’s finite existence.

For all the splendor of St. Peter’s, there is another structure that is far more magnificent.   It’s the Church, a spiritual edifice built on the apostles, with Jesus as its cornerstone.   It’s us!

More than just a symbol, the Church really does connect heaven and earth.   And that’s why Jesus promised that it would endure.   This Church has already endured for two millennia, despite persecutions, corruption, and painful divisions.

Jesus has promised that everyone who is baptized into him is also baptized into his Church.   He rejects no one.   This means that he has swept up your life into this magnificent construction project.   You are one of the “living stones” that Jesus has formed, shaped, and cemented into his Church.

On the last day, when his project is finally complete, Jesus will raise you up with all the other saints.   You will be among that “great multitude” of worshippers coming from every tribe, nation, and tongue.

So no matter how dark the world might feel today, no matter how much rejection you may suffer, no matter how many struggles you may have, always remember that one day you will bask in Christ’s glorious light that fills his Temple forever.   He has welcomed you with open arms, and he has a perfect place waiting for you in his heavenly home.

word among us