In Conversation With God Weekly Reflection
28th Week of Ordinary Time: Asking God for Our Daily Bread

By Francis Fernandez-Carvajal


5/40.1 What we are asking for with the words our daily bread.

Give us this day our daily bread ...

A certain Asian legend tells of a king and his son. The king bestowed upon the prince a royal endowment that would enable him to live in a worthy fashion for all twelve months of the year. But the king decided that rather than give these things away all at once he would distribute them in daily allotments. In this way the king was able to see his son every day of the year and vice versa.

This legend is somewhat analogous to our relationship with God. ‘Our daily bread’ depends upon the prayers we offer each day. The fact that we ask only for today’s needs implies that we will have another encounter with our Father God tomorrow. This is the way the Father encourages us to be steadfast in saying his prayer.

The Lord taught us to ask for bread, that is, for everything we need to live as children of God – faith, hope, love, joy, food for the body and food for the soul, docility to the Will of God in everyday life, a heart big enough to understand other people and be of service to them ... Bread is a symbol of all the many gifts that come to us from God.[5844] In the first place we ask for whatever we need in a material sense; then our request is for whatever we need for the health of our soul.[5845]

The Lord wants us to ask him for temporal goods. If their use is well-ordered, they can certainly help us to attain Heaven. We find many examples of this truth in the Old Testament. The Lord himself moves us to ask for what we require in this life. We should not forget that the first miracle worked by Jesus was to change water into wine at a wedding feast. On another occasion he fed a great crowd of people who had followed him into a deserted place ... When Jesus had brought the daughter of Jairus back to life, he asked that she be given something to eat ... [5846]

When we ask for our daily bread we are acknowledging the fact that our entire existence depends on God. The Lord wants us to ask the Father for whatever we need. As a consequence, we are constantly reminding ourselves that we are children who depend entirely on our Father God. We can do nothing by ourselves. To pray the Our Father well, with devotion, is to recognize our radical poverty before the loving eyes of God. He will make sure that we have what we need each day. God will never let us down.

When we pray for our bread, the Lord wants us also to keep in mind the intentions and needs of our brothers and sisters, especially those who have been entrusted to our care and those who suffer deprivation of any kind.

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[5844] cf Ex 23:25; Is 33:16

[5845] cf Catechism of the Council of Trent, IV, 13, 8

[5846] cf John 2:1 ff; Matt 14:13-21; Mark 5:22-43

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Francis Fernandez-Carvajal,

Rev. Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

Rev. Francis Fernández-Carvajal is a Priest of the Opus Dei Prelature and the author of many popular spiritual works. His seven-volume series In Conversation with God provides over 500 meditations to be used throughout the liturgical year. It has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into many languages.

Francis Fernandez-Carvajal,

Rev. Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

Rev. Francis Fernández-Carvajal is a Priest of the Opus Dei Prelature and the author of many popular spiritual works. His seven-volume series In Conversation with God provides over 500 meditations to be used throughout the liturgical year. It has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into many languages.


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