Commentary on the Gospel of
In the Lord’s Prayer we pray: “Give us this day our daily bread.” What exactly are we praying for? What is this “daily bread”?
Daily Bread. The particular word for “daily” - epiousios - does not occur anywhere else in the New Testament, and thus has a unique reference. In one sense, we are praying for our many material needs, the bread that sustains our physical life. But from yesterday’s gospel reading we know that Jesus wants us to labour for the bread that feeds our soul. Thus, over and above the physical “bread” that meets our physical needs, Jesus wants us to pray for the “daily bread” that sustains our spiritual life. And what is this bread?
He tells us today: “I am the bread of life.” Anyone who receives him as his or her daily bread will never be hungry or thirsty. How do we receive him as the bread of life? We do, in the word of God and in the Eucharist that is the sacrament of sacraments. Ideally, we must receive this daily bread on a daily basis—see the double emphasis in the prayer: “Give us this day our daily bread.” How regular is my feeding on the Word and the Eucharist?
(Note: This reflection is a revised and updated version of the author’s own reflection for the same readings in the Bible Diary 2013 [Claretian Publications]. All rights reserved. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org)