By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: November 13, 2017
November 13, 2017

Gospel LK 17:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples,

“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,

but woe to the one through whom they occur.

It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck

and he be thrown into the sea

than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.

Be on your guard!

If your brother sins, rebuke him;

and if he repents, forgive him.

And if he wrongs you seven times in one day

and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’

you should forgive him.”

And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”

The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,

you would say to this mulberry tree,

‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”


“Jesus said to his disciples,

“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,

but woe to the one through whom they occur.”

What exactly does Jesus mean when He say’s “woe to the one through whom they occur?”

He is saying “woe” or heartbreak to the person who causes others to sin.

We don’t usually think of ourselves as causing others to sin. We may quickly pass over Jesus’ words, thinking they only apply to those who deliberately, and with selfish intent, cause others to sin.

We may say to ourselves, “I would never cause another to sin!”

But, when discussing this passage, a friend observed that we tempt others to sin when we entice them to join us in gossiping about others.

Gossip comes in many forms: sharing disparaging stories about people, offering opinions about what other people do or their motives, or hearing and then spreading a juicy morsel of gossip.

When I gossip, I sin, and I invite others to do the same. I invite those who listen into a never ending circle of sinful character assassination.

Several years ago, I fell into the bad habit of what I felt was harmlessly gossiping about others with a priest friend of mine. We quickly realized that gossiping is like eating chocolate; you can do it without thinking about it!

We decided that every time we caught ourselves gossiping, we would pull on our own earlobe. Within a week, we both felt as if our earlobes were touching our shoulders.

Now, when I hear someone spreading a rumor or telling a defamatory tale about someone else, I ask, “How do they know what they are saying is true? And, is there any positive benefit for me to listen to this?”

Lord, help me not to lead anyone into the sin of gossiping. Let me remember my mother’s advice: “If you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Ephesians 4:29

A suggestion: Ask yourselves this question.
"Am I my brother's keeper?" If the answer is Yes, perhaps you would like to join us, as we go Along the Way in spreading the Love and Hope of Jesus Christ.

If you wish to contribute, use one of the following methods:


My Brother's Keeper, Inc.
P.O. Box 338
Easton, Massachusetts 02356

Credit Card:


Your support is deeply appreciated.
My Brother's Keeper is totally dependent upon private donations.

My Brother's Keeper is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

If you would like to become a business partner with My Brother's Keeper please fill out the form below.

Address:  City:  State:  Zip:
 Phone:  Email:
How Will Your Company Contribute?     
What gifts, services, and resources would you like to offer?

Your support is deeply appreciated.
We will follow up with your request as soon as possible.

Prayer Request

I would like to have the volunteers at My Brother's Keeper offer their daily prayers and service for the following intention:

Name: (optional)

My Brother's Keeper thanks you for your continued prayers and support.
"Whatever you do for the most humble of my people, you do for me."
Matthew 25:40