"Scandals will inevitably arise, but woe to him through whom they come. He would be better off thrown into the sea with a millstone around his neck than giving scandal to one of these little ones." —Luke 17:1-2
People listen to us partly because of what we say and mostly because of our credibility and integrity. Therefore, the devil tries to promote and publicize scandals in the Church so as to ruin our credibility and thereby set up obstacles in the way of communicating the gospel.
To keep scandals, hypocrisy, and sin to a minimum, we should:
- do all we can so that our leaders are irreproachable and blameless (Ti 1:6, 7),
- "encourage men to follow sound doctrine and...refute those who contradict it" (Ti 1:9),
- be on our guard (Lk 17:3),
- repent (Lk 17:4), especially of gossiping,
- correct our brothers and sisters who sin (Lk 17:3),
- repeatedly forgive our brothers and sisters who sin (Lk 17:4), and
- pray for our faith to be increased (Lk 17:5).
The messengers of the gospel have often concealed rather than revealed the truth and love of Jesus. Let us obey the Lord and restore the Church's credibility, integrity, and effectiveness in evangelizing the world.
Prayer: Father, give purity and power to the Church.
Promise: "In his teaching he must hold fast to the authentic message." —Ti 1:9
Praise: St. Martin's parents were not Christian. At the age of ten, Martin so desired to become a Christian that he begged to be enrolled as a catechumen in the Church, and his wish was granted.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard L. Klug, April 10, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 18, 2002