Today people are living closer and closer together which makes the influence we have on others even greater. Whether we are aware of it or not, we can either be stumbling blocks or stepping stones for others on the road to salvation. Let me share with you some examples of each.
We are a stumbling block to others when we are unkind or unjust in the way we treat them. We can make them feel small and damage their self-confidence. When we fail to understand another’s weakness, mistakes, and sins, and write them off as a result of them.
We are a stumbling block to others when we humiliate them because they don’t live up to our expectations, and damage their self-image. When we exclude them or ignore them making them feel like a stranger or outcast.
We are a stumbling block to others when we unjustly criticize them, tear down their ideals and destroy their dreams. When we push our personal agendas and ignore the ideas and concerns of others.
If we do any of these things to others we become darkness to them, an obstacle in their path, a stumbling block on their road to self-development, and can make it difficult for them to reach the Kingdom of Heaven.
The flip side is that we can be stepping stones to others on their journey. We are stepping stones when we support others in moments of weakness and doubt, when we help them to believe in themselves and boost their self-confidence.
We are stepping stones to others when we help them to cultivate their gifts and talents. We are stepping stones when we challenge others in a positive way so that they can grow to their full potential.
We are stepping stones when we refuse to cast stones of accusation and judgment when a person sins but help them see the error of their ways. When we forgive others so as to liberate them from being held bondage to their faults and failings.
We are stepping stones when we seek to understand others and truly listen to them, hearing what they are saying.
When we are stepping stones we are light to others, building bridges not walls, helping others on their journey into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus tells us that when we give a cup of water to another because we belong to him, we will be rewarded for such an act of generosity. The cups of water we are invited to give each and every day are the stepping stones that build up another. May we be generous this week in giving these cups of water to those we meet.
— Fr. Dennis, September 30, 2018