Each one of us can influence others around us – whether within the family, our community or neighborhood, our circle of friends or barkada, in the workplace.
Those who are older can influence the young ones – parents can influence their children, those in leadership position can influence their members, etc. Those who are popular (actors, athletes, etc.) are most influential. The big ones are role models for the small ones.
We can influence how others think or behave. The question is: what kind of influence do we have on other people – is it for good or for evil?
In the Gospel, Jesus severely condemns those who lead others to sin. His condemnation is especially directed at those who have great influence (those who are older or those in authority) and who lead those under their charge to commit sin and evil. Jesus calls on each one to be aware of their sinful and evil behavior which has influence on others and to repent and change their ways, otherwise they will face God’s judgment and punishment.
The Lord expect each one of us to exert a positive influence on others – to bring out the best in them, rather than the worst. This is our responsibility – whether as parents, as leaders in our community, as elders. We can only do this when we ourselves are freed from sin and evil, when we strive to think and behave according to the values, teachings and example of Christ.
Our BECs have to create an environment that encourages the members to constantly struggle against sin and evil in their hearts and bring out the good and best in each one and be a positive influence in the neighborhood and the wider community.