Notice that Jesus teaches us to pray for "our" bread. We are praying not just for ourselves but also for others - especially those who do not have enough daily bread to live.
Reflecting on this passage, I was reminded of the Gospel scenes of Jesus feeding the crowds of people. In one, he tells his disciples: "Give them some food yourselves."
We are praying to be true children of God and that means we need to imitate Jesus in a radical sharing of our daily bread with our brothers and sisters, in working for justice so that everyone can enjoy what is necessary for a dignified life.
In everything, Jesus calls us to trust in God's Providence, that he will provide. We pray for our daily bread but we cannot allow ourselves to be consumed by material concerns. Jesus said: "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear."
The bread we pray for is not only the ordinary "bread" we need to sustain our bodies.
Jesus tells us elsewhere in the Gospel that we live not by bread alone but also by the Word of God. He tells not to seek food that perishes, but food that endures to eternal life.
So since the Church's earliest days, the Church has understood "our daily bread" to refer also to the Eucharist.
Jesus testified that he was the "bread of God" that came down from heaven to give life to the world. So in this prayer we are asking for Jesus to come and to give himself to us in his Word and in the Blessed Sacrament of his Body and Blood. We pray like those first disciples who said: "Give us this bread always."
So this week, as we begin the month of Mary, let's try to pray the Rosary for one another.
And as we begin each decade of the Rosary with the Our Father, let's consider that this prayer has been prayed by the apostles and saints, by Jesus and perhaps even by his mother.
And let us ask her, our Blessed Mother Mary, to help us to pray as children, knowing that our Father will care for us in even our smallest needs.
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Posted with permission from Angelus/The Tidings Online, official publication of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.