In the first reading we read about the reaction of some people to the work of two apostles. In this writing, St. Luke, reminds us of an important reality: so easily can human beings let what is new, different or attractive become little gods in our lives.
We should consider this: those "little gods" are not always things, physical possessions. In a world where criticism and argument abound, it is so easy to build little temples or altars in our minds where we enshrine negative thoughts about people who may have hurt our feelings. How often does this happen within families or within the office community where one works? It is so easy to return to those painful moments when we relish the sense of hurt, when we replay the scene of the confrontation. It is there that we emotionally pick up stone and toss them at a relative or colleague.
In the gospel Jesus reminds us not to forget a particular reality: our "success" in living out our lives as the Father expects of us is to bring those in our families as well as in our work-a-day world into our minds and hearts with a genuine sense of love. Our challenge when one of those people who hurt us comes to mind is to toss stones not at them but at the shrines of dislike and hatred we have built in our minds and hearts.
For a moment stop this reading and write down the names of those individuals who have a "dislike altar or shrine in your mind or heart." These are the people God calls us to love as he loves them. These are the people who become for us the avenues to a successful spiritual life.
If you google today's patron saint, Catherine of Siena, you will learn how she endeavored to smash those kinds of altars and shrines within her heart and mind!