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Pope Francis on Our Need for Daily Bread

‘This prayer comes from evidence that we often forget, that is, that we aren’t self-sufficient creatures…’

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«Give us this day our daily bread» begins the second part of the «Our Father,» which was the focus of Pope Francis during his March 27, 2019, General Audience commentary in St. Peter’s Square.
«We pass today to analyze the second part of the ‘Our Father,’ in which we present our needs to God,» the Pope said. «This second part begins with a word that smells daily: bread.
«Jesus’ prayer begins with a pressing demand, which is very similar to the entreaty of a beggar: ‘Give us our daily bread!’ This prayer comes from evidence that we often forget, that is, that we aren’t self-sufficient creatures, and that every day we need to eat.»
Thus, the Holy Father explained, the prayer reminds us of our need for God each day in our lives. But he continued by urging the faithful to be reminded by the prayer of the needs of others.
«And now it will do us good to pause a bit and to think of starving children,» Francis said. «Let us think of children that are in countries at war: the starving children of Yemen, the starving children in Syria, the starving children in so many countries where there isn’t bread, in South Sudan. Let us think of these children and, thinking of them, let us say together in a loud voice the prayer: ‘Father, give us this day our daily bread’ — altogether.
«The bread that we ask of the Lord in prayer is the same that one day will accuse us. It will reprove our little habit of breaking it with one who is close to us, our little habit of sharing it. It was bread given for humanity and, instead, only someone ate it: love can’t endure this. Our love can’t endure this; nor can the love of God endure this egoism of not sharing the bread.»
The Holy Father concluded by referring to the miracle of the loaves and fishes, noting that it was a true miracle – and also a lesson about the importance of sharing:
«The true miracle wrought by Jesus that day was not so much the multiplication  — which is true –, but the sharing: give what you have and I will do the miracle. He Himself, by multiplying that bread offered, anticipated the offering of Himself in the Eucharistic Bread. In fact, only the Eucharist is able to satiate the hunger for the infinite and the desire for God that animates every man, also in the search for daily bread.»
The Holy Father’s Full Commentary

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Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a husband, father, grandfather, writer, and communications consultant. He also likes playing the piano and fishing. He writes from the Chicago area.

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