Lent Alphabet (G)


GIVE us today, our daily bread.

The Liturgy of the Word in Lent takes us through some of the major themes of our salvation history. Many of the readings can be heard as an invitation to conversion of heart. The Our Father can be read as a guide to this conversion. It’s familiar petitions chart for us a path of simple holiness.

I am always struck that this prayer contains within it a petition for our physical needs: bread. We are used to reading this spiritually, but I imagine the first hearers of Matthew’s Gospel will have heard this very much as physical. Having enough bread to eat was a daily concern for many. Wheat and barley crops were some of the most important crops in the agricultural economy of Jesus’ day. There is a deeper meaning too in this petition in that Jesus is teaching us to ask the Father for all our needs.

With the rise of food poverty in our country, there are many families who cannot go to bed at night with an assurance that there will be enough food for the next day. Our Lenten Appeals meet a need that is increasing. When we pray for the coming of the kingdom in the Our Father it’s precisely these situations which come to my mind. When we pray ‘thy kingdom come’ we commit to working for that change.

How is God calling you this Lent to provide daily bread for others?

(Matthew 6:7-15, Tuesday, 1st Week of Lent)