Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Jesus said to His disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves.” – Luke 17:1-3
The key to this teaching is to whom it is addressed … the disciples. You might think it is directed to sinister, godless souls who had no understanding of Christ … but it is directed to the disciples … to people like me and like many of you. We are believers … but believers must be ever mindful of how our words, our example, our cruelties, our collusions, our controversies, even our indifferences cause others to stumble.
“To cause to stumble”, two Biblical metaphors come to mind. One is that of the stumbling block, that uneven step that goes unnoticed, that trips the one passing by. The other is the blindness caused by dim light or obscuring smoke that does not provide a clear vision of what might cause a soul to stumble. And disciples, those back then and those of us today, we can cause people to stumble in trying to prove our point, which then makes the point moot. Disciples, those back then and those of us today, we can cause people to stumble by the smoke our zeal or the heretics we burn at the stake. Disciples, those back then and those of us today, we can cause people to stumble over the stones we throw and by the painful ashes we cast into the air.
Declaring we are disciples of the Lord does not give us license to make sinful ways something sanctified. So we to take heed of our need to self-exam our ways, or as Christ said to His disciples …”So watch yourselves lest you cause others to stumble!”
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz