Catechism and the Liturgy

"Give us this day our daily bread."

CAT. 2828-2837

   Today's Scripture for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time reminded the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship about the line in the Our Father, "Give us this day our daily bread." It is a beautiful section in the Catechism, and I only hope that this article will inspire you all to read this section in the actual work!

   "Give us" is the Church's touchstone for  reflecting that trust is the characteristic of children of their heavenly Father who look to him for all things good, necessary, and beautiful. He is good beyond all the goodness he creates. Covenant is a dynamic revealed in our asking that God "give us . . ." because we are his and he is ours.

   "Our bread" notes that God who gave us life must give us the means to live. God does not make us for idleness, for the cooperating work with God is purpose which is as much of a human need as subsistence food. We ask for all appropriate needs and blessings without nagging preoccupation of anxiety and worry because the God with whom we cooperate is worthy of our trust.

   St. Cyprian is quoted to note that God is the only source for everything; thus, "he who possesses God wants for nothing, provided he is not found wanting before God."

   This petition reminds us of those who hunger and our mission of solidarity with all people, especially the poor, to make our world worthy of the Children of God. We are a leaven which makes the social, economic and cultural relationships rise to improve the world, and we remind people constantly that there are no just structures without people who want to be just.  

   "Our bread" is one loaf for the many to which all must make an effort to contribute and from which all have a rightful share. We pray as if all depends on God (because it does) while working as if all depends on us (which it does since God's designs include us for the temporal and spiritual benefit of each other).

   "Today" is the day of all days, and invitation into the eternal. The Greek word, only used in the entire New Testament in the Lord's prayer is "epiousios," which means "super substantial." It seems to have much to do with the Eucharist, the Bread of Life, which is Jesus. It connects our survival with the eternal, and communion with our necessary companion in time and eternity - Jesus himself.

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