Jesus the Son of God and the Son of Man
When Jesus was twelve years old, He went with His mother Mary and His foster father Joseph to the Temple in Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. When the feast was over and it was time to return home, Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem. Thinking that He was in the caravan, Mary and Joseph journeyed for a day and looked for Jesus among their relatives and friends. Not finding Him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for Him.
After three days they found Jesus in the Temple, sitting with the teachers, and listening to them and asking them questions. All who heard Jesus speak were astounded at His understanding and His answers. When Mary and Joseph saw Him, they were astonished. Mary said to Jesus, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
Jesus replied, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But Mary and Joseph did not understand what He said to them. Jesus went with them to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and age and favor before God and Man.
Indeed, Jesus had a close relationship with His father in heaven. This is why Mary, His mother, and Joseph found Him in the temple, which is His “Father’s House,” doing the will of His Father in heaven. Jesus knew He had a mission. Throughout His life, Jesus was obedient to the will of His Father in heaven.
When we reflect on this scripture story, we recognize that, as followers of Christ, we too have a mission to proclaim God’s love to the world. How do we discover our specific mission? We discover it through the Holy Spirit, who informs us in our conscience. Our conscience helps us to judge right from wrong so that we can avoid sin. For example, if our conscience tells us to do things that are good but we don’t do it, then we are not being good followers of Christ. We must form our conscience by learning the things that Jesus taught in the sacred scriptures, by praying to God and self-reflection, and by paying attention to the guidance of our parents, teachers and the Church.
We are responsible for the choices we make and for its consequences, even if there are times when our ability to choose freely is limited because of fear. In times like those, it may be a good idea to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” Jesus showed us the importance of seeking God our Father in heaven in everything that we do.
The Church identifies two types of sin: mortal sin and venial sin. A mortal sin is a serious act against God’s law, which is done on purpose, and while knowing that it is a serious sin. A mortal sin separates us from God’s grace. A person who commits a mortal sin has to go to confession before receiving Holy Communion. A venial sin is a less serious act, but it weakens our relationship with God and our neighbor. We should always do our best not to commit any sin, whether mortal or venial.
- How do we discover our specific mission from God?
- What are the ways in which we can form our conscience?
- What is a mortal sin?
- What is a venial sin?
- True or False: it is okay to commit venial sins.