ARE THE RULES OF SCRIPTURES BY WHICH WE CAN ATTAIN ETERNAL LIFE)
That we should not give
scandal. Scandal is anything opposed to the will of God.
"Woe to you by
whom scandal comes. . .do not put a stumbling block or scandal in your
Peter, who tried to stop
Christ from doing the Will of God, was rebuked by Christ: "Go behind
me, Satan, you art a scandal unto Me, because thou savorest not the things
that are of God but the things that are of men."
That even an act blessed by
Scriptures should be avoided if, by it, others would be emboldened to commit
sin or relax their zeal for virtue. Thus, St. Paul, convinced there is
nothing wrong with meat, encouraged those who ate not to eat for the sake of
those with weak consciences. He added, "Wherefore if eating meat will
scandalize my brother, I will never eat meat."
Sometimes, what is not
necessary to be done MUST, in fact, BE DONE to avoid scandal. Thus, Christ
told His disciples that the children of God are not to pay taxes to anyone
but, to avoid scandal, the disciples were commanded to pay taxes.
But the Will of God must be
done even if others take scandal. That others foolishly take scandal at our
doing God's will should not hamper our freedom to do good. We must continue
to do good. The fault is not in us anymore; the defect is in their minds.
Thus, the Pharisees were scandalized at practically everything good that
Christ did and said. Christ, referring to them, said: "They are blind
leaders of the blind." Even Christ's own disciples were scandalized
when He said: "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His
Blood. . ." And they walked no longer with Him.