We sometimes do not realise how much influence we have towards others. Sometimes the influence could be good or bad, depending on our attitude and behaviour. What we say and do could cause others to have a good or bad impression towards us, and could cause others to imitate us, for better or for worse. For example, a child observes the father smoking and drinking quite heavily. Observing such a habit and possibly addiction could one day cause the child to become a smoker and drinker also, especially if the child kept on imitating the father's actions and was left unchecked.
In today's Gospel, Jesus gave us an example in the form of the scribes and Pharisees, of how others could be affected by our bad influence. He said: "Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who shut up the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces, neither going in yourselves nor allowing others to go in who want to. Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when you have him you make him twice as fit for hell as you are." Such words seem harsh, but they remind and caution us of the devastating power and influence that we can have over others.
So what does this mean to us? It means that we should be careful of our words and actions. We should use our words and actions to help and influence others to grow closer to God. May we be good examples to others, and in all we do, give God the glory.