In today’s First Reading the Lord reminds us of the responsibility we have to others in evaluating situations and giving advice. Justice is not just meted out in courtrooms anymore; the Internet is a court of public opinion, but sometimes we forget that opinions need to be weighed to see what is truly just to all involved and truly wise as a way to achieve not only personal growth, but holiness. It’s no coincidence that the Lord not only condemns injustice, deceit, and foolishness, but wants nothing to do with them: they are not only the wrong thing to do, but the sinful thing do do, and sin is not compatible with God. If you love, can you ever condone something you know is bad for those you love?
In today’s Gospel Our Lord laments those who are the occasion for sin in the life of another. We’re called to help each other on the path to a holy and fulfilling life, and in a world where a cloud of contrary opinions seek our attention each of us must examine our conscience and see whether we’re helping others along the path of truth or just contributing to the moral noise. That requires us to remember our own obligation to seek the truth, spread the truth, and put it into action. Some may question the wisdom of that because they see convenience as the path to success, but Our Lord has taught us that the truth will set us free.
When a friend tries to make us stumble, wittingly or unwittingly, let’s not shy away from pointing out the truth and being forgiving when forgiveness is warranted. Foolish friends need our help even more than wise ones do.
Readings: Wisdom 1:1–7; Psalm 139:1b–10; Luke 17:1–6.