Conscience and Responsibility (By Laura Litschie, Theology Chair, and Lachlan Thomas '20)

Students in Junior Theology have been discussing conscience and the responsibility we all have to form our consciences in a lifelong search for truth and goodness. Thankfully, we are not expected to form our consciences all by ourselves. To that end, we have studied the three pillars of forming a Christian conscience: Scripture, the Church, and Reason. To engage with various tools for interpreting Scripture to form our consciences, students read, reflected, prayed, researched biblical commentaries, and wrote a reflection on a Gospel reading that will be heard during the Advent season. Here is one example from Lachlan Thomas for tomorrow, Friday, December 7.
Gospel for Friday, December 7 -  Matthew 9:27-31

27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they replied.
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”;
30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.”
31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.

Reflection by Lachlan Thomas (Class of 2020):

The passage opens with two blind men asking the “Son of David” to have pity on them. “The use of the title ‘Son of David’ probably indicates that these men think Jesus is the Messiah” (Powell 881). This passage can be applied to the messianic period as a whole in reference to Jesus healing the blind, or in the broader sense - those who have not found or accepted God into their lives yet. This title also connects Jesus as the successor of Solomon, who was known by the Jews for his extraordinary wisdom and healing powers.

n the situation of the two blind men, it may be hard to continue to be faithful to God, but in this reading Jesus demonstrates that by trusting in Him you will, as a result, be guided to the light. In this case Jesus guides the two men to being healed from blindness, but the same concept can be applied to the bigger picture. Jesus’ goal during his life was to heal the blind; not necessarily the literal blind, but those who have yet to encounter God’s love. Many of us out of ignorance may think that we can do everything on our own, but if we allow God to guide us, our lives will be elevated to new meaning, escaping the blindness, just like the two men in this passage did.
 
Finally, Jesus asks the two men to not tell anyone about the healing, but “[...] his works were simply too marvelous to be kept a secret” (Powell 881). This request demonstrates Jesus’ humility because he has no desire for the fame or glory that his miracles entail. This request can similarly serve as an example for our lives; no matter how skilled or privileged we are in something, it is still extremely crucial to remain humble, not selfishly seeking praise or admiration.

Works Cited
  1. The New American Bible. School and Church ed. Wichita, Kan.: Fireside Bible, 1994. Print.
  2. Powell, Mark Allan. "Matthew." The HarperCollins Bible Commentary. Ed. James Luther. Mays and Joseph Blenkinsopp. Revised ed. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000.
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