Gospel Reading: Mt 6:7-15
Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This is how you are to pray: ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’
“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
Give us this day our daily bread
Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. The Lord’s Prayer is given as something for us to do regularly, like going to work.
To appreciate better the petition for daily bread, let us remember that in Jesus’ time ordinary people did not have big barns. They could not store food good for one week. The father of the family had to work every day. He had to be paid to buy his food for the next day. Thus, the family lived on a day-to-day subsistence.
Some old Bibles translate “daily bread” (epiousion) as “bread for the morrow,” which means bread for tomorrow.
Jesus teaches us to pray for good health always, so that we may be able to work and earn a denarius, a day’s wage, enough to buy the next day’s food for our family. When we are assured of this, we can have a good sleep. We are not worried what will happen tomorrow.
This part of the prayer must be meaningful to the poor who seek not bread but work. If there is no work, because of sickness or calamity, other people must come to their rescue, or they will go hungry.
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As a communal prayer, the Lord’s Prayer urges us to take care of our less fortunate brothers and sisters who cannot survive without our sharing.
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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS,” 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.