Amazing Possibilities!

  • Matthew Kelly

Not on Bread Alone


All of Jesus’ teachings draw our attention to the spiritual realities that we can so easily overlook if we become too absorbed in the physical realities of this world. The world is amazing. It captivates all of our senses. Encountering Jesus awakens and captivates our spiritual senses.


Now let’s take a look at today’s difficult teaching.


“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”


It is from Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 4, verses 3-4.


I have spent my entire adult life writing. It is a glorious and frustrating pursuit, and sometimes gloriously frustrating. Trying to put into words things that defy description, trying desperately to share with other people directions to an intense joy, this is what I spend my days and nights doing. We have all had moments when we search our minds for a word or phrase that perfectly encapsulates what we are trying to say, but the word or phrase seems just out of reach. Multiply that by infinity and that is the life of a writer on many days.


But then, occasionally, the words will form perfectly, just as you envision. I had a moment like that several years ago. It was an idea I had been trying to put into words for at least a decade. And then one day, the words just nonchalantly appeared on the page. Thirteen words that summarize what I have spent my life trying to encourage people to consider. They first appeared in my work Life is Messy, and I share them with you again here.


“The greatest threat to your happiness and wholeness is your unrecognized spiritual needs.”


We fool ourselves into thinking we can live on bread alone. We fool ourselves into thinking this world is all there is. It is natural to favor what can be seen over what cannot be seen, but our hearts and souls, our will and intellect, make us capable of prioritizing what matters most regardless of whether or not it is seen or unseen.


Our lives have become physical feasts and spiritual famines. Today’s difficult teaching is a reminder that nothing in this physical world can satisfy us. It is a reminder that everything in this physical world is incapable of satisfying us. It is a loving reminder to tend to our spiritual needs.


Matthew Kelly


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