"If food causes my brother to sin I will never eat meat again, so that I may not be an occasion of sin to him." —1 Corinthians 8:13
Would you give up something, even if it had nothing wrong with it except that it was an occasion of sin to others? Should parishes stop serving beer at festivals because for some it is obviously an occasion of sin? Should parishes stop gambling to raise money because compulsive gambling has been shown statistically to be a problem for a significant percentage of our population?
Many of us may rebel at the prospect of losing our beer, money, or entertainment. But what are our priorities? Our first concern must be others' consciences and their salvation (1 Cor 8:11). "When you sin thus against your brothers and wound their weak consciences, you are sinning against Christ" (1 Cor 8:12).
"You may ask, why should my liberty be restricted by another man's conscience?" (1 Cor 10:29) "The fact is that whether you eat or drink — whatever you do — you should do all for the glory of God" (1 Cor 10:31).
Seek first God's kingdom (Mt 6:33). Make the salvation of as many as possible (1 Cor 9:19) your first priority. Say with Paul: "I try to please all in any way I can by seeking, not my own advantage, but that of the many, that they may be saved" (1 Cor 10:33).
Prayer: Father, may I never have anything to do with anything that leads someone astray.
Promise: "Pardon, and you shall be pardoned. Give, and it shall be given to you. Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over, will they pour into the fold of your garment." —Lk 6:37-38
Praise: St. Peter ministered to the "least of the brethren" by reaching out to countless slaves when he went to the New World to save "millions of those perishing souls."
Reference: (Join Presentation Ministries and be an active part of the Body of Christ. Call 937-587-5464 to see how you can help.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2010
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