spiritual maturity

How mature
am I?

Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

St. Paul is telling us that we are the mature followers of Jesus. We are ready to receive the wisdom of God. This is not wisdom as the world or today’s rulers perceive wisdom, but something the immature cannot perceive.

Later Paul recounts that he began addressing us: as babes in Christ. He fed us with milk, not solid food; for we were not ready for it.

We must reflect on our spiritual maturity. Do we still need milk, to be spoon fed, or are we ready for solid food?

We begin at baptism, and our parents and the Holy Church worked diligently to raise us up in the knowledge of God’s mysteries. They worked to bring us from milk to solid food, but can we take that solid food?

This secret and mystery of God is not hocus-pocus. Rather it is the teaching of Jesus who shared with us every secret and mystery of His Heavenly Father. He recounts many of these mysteries in today’s Gospel. Do not hate, don’t even consider it. Reconcile with your enemies. Do not curse or criticize anyone. Do not lust for anything or for any reason. Don’t even consider it. Respect the human dignity of every person. Do not bear grudges against your spouse, but put your spouse first. Value the dignity and sacredness of your relationship.

In all these things – which are mysteries to the worldly – keep the commandments. Do not keep them as merely a law or a requirement, but keep them in a mature way – with love at the center: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

This is the great mystery. It is the mystery of loving fully and completely as Christians. It is our ability to accept and digest this solid food of love, to be mature followers of Jesus.

When we were immature we had to learn this slowly. We learned in the context of family and we learned in Church. Now we must assess whether we have matured; whether we are eating the solid food of God’s love daily. If we are mature we live the mystery and secret of love at all times and in every circumstance. If we eat the solid food of love we will love even when the world says it is ok not to. Eating this solid food of love we will live forever.