Reading: Luke 17:1-4
Then said he unto the disciples, “It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”
After all that Jesus has said about his own message, which makes clear the hypocrisy of the religious, who with their superficial and cruel rules alienate people from God, he carries out this warning.
Stumbles (faults, mistakes, sin) are inevitable, because we inhabit a fallen world. But we must guard ourselves carefully, so that our actions don’t cause one of our brothers to stumble.
How do we cause our brother in the faith to stumble? With foolish and unnecessary words, with hypocritical attitudes, with our selfishness, seeking to always be right, with our obstinacy, with our pride… with all those attitudes we can harm our brother.
The greatest harm we can do to someone is divert their gaze from Christ, the cross, the Gospel, so that they focus on secondary or trivial things.
This should be our priority in our lives; our guide and a constant reminder that by faith in Christ we walk and live. We carry his cross. We are His. We have been redeemed with his life and death.
Walking with our eyes on Jesus should always encourage us to live a rich and profound life, a life in which sin does not take place. For that very reason, we love our brother by calling him to repentance, confessing our own sin, and sharing his forgiveness.
This is living the Gospel.
MEDITATE: How many times have you not sought to edify or bless someone? Ask the Lord to help you live with your gaze on Him!
Translation by: Emily Stader