November 11, 2019

Gospel LK 17:1-6 Jesus said to his disciples, “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. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.” And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Reflection Jesus said to his disciples, “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. If someone said to their younger sister or brother, “Take ten dollars from Mom’s purse and give me half and keep half for yourself,” they would have been setting the wheels of sin in motion. They are therefore more guilty than if they had stolen the money themselves. The tempter, the person who deliberately leads another to commit a sin, robs that person of their innocence. Jesus tell us to, “Be on guard?” He cautions us about those people “who would lead us into temptation.” If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.” I don’t seem to have as much of a problem with the rebuking part as I do with the forgiving. The idea of having someone sin against me seven times and then say I’m sorry seven times in one day and then expect me to sincerely forgive them is a tough pill to swallow. From a human point of view, the ways of Jesus Christ are challenging. Apparently, the Apostles felt the same way for they said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Based on my little faith, what Jesus asks seems impossible for me, so I am left to keep on trying and pray, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 Jesus said, “What is impossible for man is possible with God.”  Luke 18:27