Cornerstones

April 19, 2024 at 2:54 p.m.

Erik Schenck, Fiat Ventures

This week, we hear a lot about cornerstones and, by context alone, we know they are important. But why? And why is it a big deal that ‘the stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone?’

Okay – let’s figure this out.

Wikipedia describes cornerstones as ‘the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.” Sounds important enough. I also found an architect’s website where he talked about how builders set the structure’s orientation and dimensions by the cornerstone. The rest of the building was dependent upon, measured against, and received its strength from this one stone!

Now THAT sounds important! And it makes sense why making the right choice in selecting a cornerstone was so important. And why most stones would be rejected to fill that purpose. So, what does it mean that ‘the stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone?’

In the first reading, Peter is pretty direct when he says, “[Jesus] is the stone rejected by YOU, the builders…” He’s saying that the Church, our families, our lives, should be dependent upon and measured against Jesus. If Jesus is the cornerstone of our lives, then the lives we build will be properly oriented and we will have something against which to measure and from which to draw strength. But the warning is that we (the builders of our lives) are drawn to other cornerstones – and worse, we reject Jesus as the one who should be in that position.

I remember thinking that Jesus’s call to love God before everything else in your life, that placing faith at the center of your life, was unreasonable. Worse, it was downright unfair and unthinkable! How could God expect us to put Him before family, before the things we have going on in our lives like work or school? What about the time that each of us needs to relax? What about me? I did NOT like the thought of having to put God before all the things that I had in my life.

The thought never occurred to me that, through God we are capable of wonderful things. And that He loves all His creation. And that, perhaps, devotion to Him would only enhance all the other things I wanted to protect.

Now, understanding the idea of a cornerstone, the picture is made a little clearer. If Jesus is the cornerstone of my life, I will be better. If Jesus sets the orientation of my life, I will be a better father and husband. If Jesus provides a point to measure against, I will be a better neighbor and coworker. If Jesus strengthens me by being at the foundation of my life, I will be a better person, and I will have the courage to speak the truth, even when it is difficult.

It sounds so simple…but that won’t make it easy. We live in a world that seems to shy away from anything to do with religion. We live in a world that pushes the idea we can be our OWN cornerstone. We live in a world that tries to tell us anything BUT Jesus would make a good foundation. When we start to build our lives, choosing that first, foundational piece determines everything else…

What is the cornerstone of your life? Is it the one God would choose?



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This week, we hear a lot about cornerstones and, by context alone, we know they are important. But why? And why is it a big deal that ‘the stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone?’

Okay – let’s figure this out.

Wikipedia describes cornerstones as ‘the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.” Sounds important enough. I also found an architect’s website where he talked about how builders set the structure’s orientation and dimensions by the cornerstone. The rest of the building was dependent upon, measured against, and received its strength from this one stone!

Now THAT sounds important! And it makes sense why making the right choice in selecting a cornerstone was so important. And why most stones would be rejected to fill that purpose. So, what does it mean that ‘the stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone?’

In the first reading, Peter is pretty direct when he says, “[Jesus] is the stone rejected by YOU, the builders…” He’s saying that the Church, our families, our lives, should be dependent upon and measured against Jesus. If Jesus is the cornerstone of our lives, then the lives we build will be properly oriented and we will have something against which to measure and from which to draw strength. But the warning is that we (the builders of our lives) are drawn to other cornerstones – and worse, we reject Jesus as the one who should be in that position.

I remember thinking that Jesus’s call to love God before everything else in your life, that placing faith at the center of your life, was unreasonable. Worse, it was downright unfair and unthinkable! How could God expect us to put Him before family, before the things we have going on in our lives like work or school? What about the time that each of us needs to relax? What about me? I did NOT like the thought of having to put God before all the things that I had in my life.

The thought never occurred to me that, through God we are capable of wonderful things. And that He loves all His creation. And that, perhaps, devotion to Him would only enhance all the other things I wanted to protect.

Now, understanding the idea of a cornerstone, the picture is made a little clearer. If Jesus is the cornerstone of my life, I will be better. If Jesus sets the orientation of my life, I will be a better father and husband. If Jesus provides a point to measure against, I will be a better neighbor and coworker. If Jesus strengthens me by being at the foundation of my life, I will be a better person, and I will have the courage to speak the truth, even when it is difficult.

It sounds so simple…but that won’t make it easy. We live in a world that seems to shy away from anything to do with religion. We live in a world that pushes the idea we can be our OWN cornerstone. We live in a world that tries to tell us anything BUT Jesus would make a good foundation. When we start to build our lives, choosing that first, foundational piece determines everything else…

What is the cornerstone of your life? Is it the one God would choose?


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