Scandal and Sin

According to bible scholars, the Greek word for temptation is scandalon, or in modern English, scandal. The Lord tells us in today’s gospel that scandal or temptation is part and parcel of our human existence. Depending on one’s situation in life, every day, there will arise the temptation to stumble or sin. It is inevitable due to our nature. What we can and should avoid at all cost, Jesus warns, is steering others to temptation. We should in no way corrupt others, or cause another person to sin. Jesus is emphatic, in today’s gospel, that leading another person to stumble or fall in their walk with him, is a grave offense.

Sometimes, we may unintentionally cause others to sin by our speech, lifestyle, or even by the way we dress. Regardless of whether the temptation is intentional or not, we need to be mindful of how our words and actions affect those around us. Although we are weak ourselves, Jesus reminds us that our faith in him, is armor which can protect our human frailty.

Every day, let us pray for the grace to remain close to him, so that he may keep us from sin and help us to be a holy influence to those around us.


Michael Lichens is the Managing Editor for Catholic Exchange. When he's not revising and editing, he is often found studying and writing about GK Chesterton, Religion and Literature, or random points of local history. He holds an A.M. from the University of Chicago Divinity School and a BA from The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.