In today’s first reading from Titus 1, St. Paul talks about the attributes of a bishop. “Blameless, not arrogant, not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive, not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled, holding fast to the true message as taught so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine and to refute opponents.” We must always remember that our bishops are men; they need our prayers.
In the Gospel reading from Luke 17, 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.”
None of us would like to think that we cause others to sin. After all, you’ve never held a gun to someone’s head and said, “Sin!” But maybe there are situations when we cause others to sin. Asking another to lie for us. Telling our kids that it is OK to miss Mass. As Christians, we have a great responsibility. We must always be mindful of our own sinful behavior. But perhaps even more so, we must be sure never to lead others into sin. We know that we will have to answer to God for our own sins. But we will be held doubly responsible when we lead others into temptation and cause them to sin.
Father, keep us ever mindful of our behavior. Help us to always strive to lead others to holiness, not to sin. Amen.