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Into Your Heart

... if any one eats of this Bread, he will live forever
I Kings 19:4-8; Psalm 34:2-9; Ephesians 4:30-5:2; John 6:41-51

Sermon Week Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary John 6:51

Despite his ongoing business success, a man was unhappy with the way his life was going. Consequently, he consulted a pious monk for advice.

"I'm never satisfied! I feel empty -- unfulfilled!"

To which the holy man replied, "As the fish perishes on dry land, so you perish when you get entangled in the world. The fish must return to the water –- so you must return to solitude."

The man asked nervously, "You mean I have to go into a monastery?"

"No, no," replied the monk. "Hold on to your business and go into your heart."

Is it possible that some of us go home Sunday after Sunday spiritually fed but completely unfulfilled? Could it be that some of us are starving to death spiritually because the message hasn't gone into our hearts?

In his autobiography, John Stuart Mill writes that his father had recognized that he was a very gifted child and proceeded to cram his head with all sorts of knowledge. However, since he had no religious faith, the father would not allow anything religious to become part of his son's education. Looking back on his education with a deep sense of loss, John Stuart Mill said that his mind was crammed with information, but his soul was starved. In his words, "I was left at the commencement of my voyage with a well-equipped ship -- but no sail."

There is little doubt that many can identify with John Stuart Mill's complaint: "a well-equipped ship ... but no sail." We need something to push up the value of our hopes and dreams. We need something to push us up and over the waves of emptiness that keep pounding our bored and dreary souls. We need something to give us new life. We need something to get us sailing again toward genuine life goals. In the poetic words of Louise Fletcher:

"I wish that there were some wonderful place called the "Land of Beginning Again," where all our mistakes and all our heartaches could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door and never be put [...]


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