November 11, 2019
Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. (Luke 17:1-6)
We are imperfect creatures. God knew when he created us that our humanness could lead us to sin. He wants us to do our best to avoid sin, and to follow his commandments, but he is understanding and forgiving if our humanness gets in the way.
It is one thing to sin ourselves, quite another to lead others to sin. What Jesus teaches in today’s Gospel speaks more to our influence over others, specifically children. The eyes of the “little ones” are on us. They learn from watching.
They see us when we get angry in traffic, and hear us curse when things don’t go our way. They see when we stick in our heads in the sand to avoid facing injustice. They see what we accept and don’t accept, what we allow and don’t allow. Don’t ever think you don’t teach children because you don’t sit them down and instruct them – they learn from watching you.
We tell our young people, “Don’t do anything you would be embarrassed to share with your grandmother.”
The same goes for us. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want a young person to imitate.