“The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Matthew 21:42
I walked to the construction site and introduced myself to the old man standing on the scaffolding. The bricklayer put his trowel aside and climbed down.
We shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. I inquired about his background and said he came from Guanajuato. He glanced at the cross on the steeple that towered above us.
“Sabe de la guerra cristera?”
He was asking if I was familiar with the Cristero War. “Yes,” I replied, recalling that Guanajuato witnessed fierce battles in that Mexican war that claimed some 90,000 lives. The Catholic Church was a prime target. Throughout the country, schools were closed, nuns exiled and priests rounded up and killed.
Throwing another glance at the cross, the bricklayer related a story about his aunt and uncle hiding twenty seminarians and a priest on their ranch during the conflict. When soldiers arrived to search the property, the seminarians escaped but the priest was caught. The soldiers tortured then shot him.
What a legacy! And what an honor to have the walls of an addition to my church constructed by a man whose relatives risked their lives to defend the faith.
On my walk back to the office, I reflected on the words of St. Peter: “Satan prowls the world like a hungry lion seeking souls to devour. Resist him! Be strong in your faith!”
Bricklayers. Hiding places. And Christ crucified, cornerstone of the Church, our cave, our refuge, our wall of defense in a dark and dangerous world.