St Paul speaks of the Spirit understanding the person. Our spirit understands us and God’s Spirit understands what is truly God’s. This is why St Paul said the unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The question is who is spiritual and who is not? St Paul tells us: we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. The spiritual person then is someone who understands the gifts given by God. These are those who have the mind of Christ. To have the mind of Christ then is to understand what God has given us. Therefore, the spiritual person is one who understands the gifts of God.
What is God’s gift? The greatest of God’s gift is Jesus Christ himself. A spiritual person is one who knows Christ, not intellectually, but who has experienced Christ and is united with him, in his thoughts and in his Teaching.
The Gospel begins with the people astounded at the teaching of Christ because he spoke with authority. After Jesus drove out a demon, the people were amazed. The sad thing about this is this astonishment over his authority and amazement at the work of Jesus did not translate to belief in him that leads to trust in him. So how can someone who has experienced Jesus jump from amazement to faith?
This requires total surrender to Jesus, because without surrendering ourselves to Jesus, we cannot trust him. St Paul said, we have the mind of Christ which is the result of conversion.To have the mind of Christ, to see things as he sees them. Amazement is probably the first step, but this must translate to obedience to Jesus. If we are astonished at the authority of Jesus, then we should obey what he says because obedience is the proof of our surrender to Jesus.
The Psalm tells us: the Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made. The spiritual person who has the mind of God is grateful for God’s mercy and love that leads them to speak of the glory of God’s kingdom and tell of his power. The unspiritual person treats this as foolish and abuses God’s mercy and love, because they do not understand what all these mean. The unspiritual person also does not believe in the power of God to save, because they think one can be saved through their good works. They do not realize, salvation is God’s gift and therefore, it must be accepted with gratitude and guarded by living with the mind of Christ.
Good works mean something only when it is the result of living with the mind of Christ, or a desire to live with the mind of Christ.
Lord, show me and let me recognize your greatest gift: Jesus, your Son, who reveals your love and mercy. Let me understand these are gifts I must care and guard. Never let me take these for granted. Send me your Spirit also so my mind can be transformed to conform to your will.