Are you familiar with the Book of Wisdom? If not, be sure to follow along with the readings this week as our first readings will be from this amazing book. Reading it will truly give you wisdom.
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus says, “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.” This brings up an interesting question. How can someone “cause” someone else to sin? Doesn’t someone have to make a conscious decision to sin? And if they’re coerced, then was it really a sin?
Hugh Hefner recently died and I commented about his legacy, citing this passage from Scripture. (I got heat from some folks about the principle of personal responsibility.) While Hefner may not have forced anyone to look at pornography, he started a movement that has resulted in many people falling into sin. I believe he will bear some responsibility for that, just as Jesus alluded to in this passage. Think of it like this: if a bar continues to serve liquor to an obviously drunk man and then let’s him get behind the wheel and he hurts someone, the bar is somewhat complicit. Alcohol is legal and they didn’t force him to drink, but they bear some responsibility. There is legal precedent for this. The bottom line for us is this: are we “causing” others to sin? Perhaps you’ve asked someone to lie for you, or cover something up. Maybe you’ve engaged in illicit sex with another. Let’s pray that we can always be on the side of right and holiness.
Father, forgive us for any times that we may have caused another to sin. May we never do that again. Amen.
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