Monday, November 5, 2018
Then Jesus continued, “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes! – Matthew 18:6-7
A stumbling block is an obstacle to progress or an impediment to belief or understanding. (Merriam-Webster dictionary)
A millstone is either of two stones for grinding something; a heavy burden. (Merriam-Webster dictionary)
As a Pastor I was always mindful of not being a stumbling block, at first out of not wanting to wear that millstone around me neck, but eventually out of compassion and conscience. I never wanted to be an obstacle for another’s progress in their faith’s maturation or the cause of their limiting their understanding of matters spiritual. And now, in these December years of my life … I am mindful all the more.
I pray daily for the Lord’s assistance that my behavior, my attitudes, my actions do not tarnish the character of Christ and Christ’s Way. I pray daily for the Lord’s assistance that I build fences that limit the possibilities the Lord has for their lives. I pray daily for the Lord’s assistance that I might be a pilgrim clearing the stones on the path so that those who follow might not stumble near so much as I have.
But I do have deep concern about how many Christians, by their attitudes, their words, their actions, their uncleansed prejudices, their beliefs that are alloyed with worldly perspectives, scatterers of stumbling blocks to the young ones who have not yet traveled this far. I have a compassionate concern for these careless, bigoted people, these hypocrites who fail to recognize their own hypocrisy, these wolves in sheep’s clothing, these shadowed soul in who the light of God penetrated into the attics and closets of their souls, for the burden they take upon themselves is as heavy as a massive millstone.
Loved Ones, be mindful of the stumbling blocks you might unintentionally leave in the wake of your journey.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz