Readings: 1 Cor 3:1-9; Luke 4:38-44
What would it take for us to be weaned? For us to be beyond the milk of spirituality—past the rusks and the stewed apple even—and eating the spiritual food of adults?
Paul is pretty clear that the first thing to go would have to be the jealousy and wrangling and all those spiritual slogans that set us against each other in the church and the churches and make us such a laughing stock in the eyes of the real world. I can’t remember the context but it was Henry Kissinger who said of some situation of fevered hostility and bitter rivalry that it was all because the stakes were so low. And isn’t that how we must look from the outside? Which way should the altar face? What kind of music is allowed in church? What can a minister safely do in the bedroom—and with whom? Do you praise this Pope or the previous or the one before that?
Such matters matter I’m sure but bring out the scales and load them all in one pan and in the other place a single child maimed or murdered by the violence we sanction and see then how the balance weighs.
Jesus has a ministry of unburdening, of letting loose and setting free, but once the devils start speaking theology he shuts them all up and moves on out.
The test of our spiritual maturity is not in our religious purity and propriety—it’s not even in what happens on retreat—the test is how we manage to be or not be good news in the world. To be it, not speak it. Good news for those who doubt it most.