For this feast of St. Thomas the Apostle we will look at how Paul in his Letter to the Ephesians compared our church to a structure with the prophets and the apostles as its foundation.
The way in which Apostles like Thomas can be compared to the foundation stones in a noble church structure is that just as a building is only kept from tottering when it is anchored in place by strong foundation stones, and when the stones in the walls are in exact alignment with the foundation stones; so can our church only survive as a true Christian church if our beliefs are in direct alignment with what the Apostles taught.
The second major element in Paul’s wonderful comparison of our church society to a church’s building is Christ as the capstone. For that metaphor Paul had in mind a church building that like a classic gothic building was an extension of the principle of an arch.
To help your imagination in seeing the function of such a capstone, picture Buddhists constructing the stone arch entranceway to their temple. They pile up and mold soft clay to the twelve-foot height and shape of the stone entrance. Then, ten feet apart against the left and right sides of the mound, they stack slightly rounded cut stones that are twelve inches on the outside, but only ten on the inside.
When the stacked stones reach the desired height, and the top of the stacks are two and a half feet apart; the masons cuts a curved stone that is two and a half feet on the top, but only two on the lower side of the curve. That is the capstone. After the builders fit it in between the ascending stacks of stones on the sides, it locks them in place, and they will stay in place for ten thousand years. So, with Jesus holding his church in place it will last forever.