There are many people who do not understand, who do not comprehend who Jesus is.
Are you one of them?
The gospels show that the disciples progressed, evolved in their understanding of Jesus over time.
Today Jesus accuses them of being obtuse: dull, not very intelligent as far as figuring things out
in light of their experience of him…what they see and what they hear.
To be fair to the first disciples, it isn’t until they experience Jesus risen from the dead
that they comprehend in faith.
It isn’t until they receive the outpouring of the Spirit that they go out into the world
and tell the good news.
As we pursue our understanding of Jesus, which I hope is a central goal of our living,
we have to be cautious. Not all information out there is accurate.
There are fake stories. There alternative facts.
And not everyone who claims to know him is sound regarding their motivation, their intentions.
As Jesus himself says “beware of the leaven”; beware of evil influence.
Physical maturity follows a predictable pattern. It is linear and progressive.
It passes through ordered stages. The process has remained consistent and universal.
It is automatic—it happens outside of conscious awareness. It’s a one way street.
Spiritual maturity, on the other hand, is much more personal and much less stable.
It is a subjective reality. It is a deliberate and intentional activity.
It happens by voluntary choice, by way of responding in faith to the experience of God.
It is not a one way street. What is gained in the process can be lost.
And spiritual maturity does not coincide with physical maturity.
It is a parallel process but in the spiritual realm time doesn’t guarantee progress.
Spiritual maturity entails, but is much more than, imparting information
and becoming proficient in certain skills required for spiritual support and survival.
Jumping ahead, the goal of Christian spirituality is conformity to the will of God
as this has been revealed by Jesus Christ.
This entails lifelong personal growth within the Christian community
where love and care and spiritual strength are expressed in and through self-sacrifice.
Spiritual maturity is a lived experience of solidarity and conviction
with the necessary attributes of openness, value, virtue and goodness
in opposition to violence, hatred, coercion and imprisonment.
Spiritual maturity requires discussion, decision and transmission
of values, pursuits, goals, activities….things that are worth doing
again, in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Spiritual maturity requires adaptation as truth is explored, discovered and comprehended.
It requires that we evolve, that we recreate ourselves, that we die and rise,
that we experience new life that comes through rebirth.
It is the process of being perfected in the love of God….
a perfection of the heart and a perfection of the mind.
Our prayer today: “O Lord, help me to grasp the extent of Your care for me. Give me eyes that see and ears that hear. Draw me out of the prison of darkness into the light of Your truth. Amen!”