We can hardly talk about “our daily bread” without considering the millions of people struggling with hunger. Where is their daily bread? Given the abundant bounty of creation, it seems God has provided generously for our family’s needs. Yet many go without.
If we were seated together at the same table and our food inequities were obvious, how would we react? Let’s imagine sitting down to a plate so full there is scarcely room for all of the food. Just as we’re about to begin enjoying this meal, we notice our brother’s plate is empty. We know he is as hungry as we are. He is close enough that we can hear his stomach rumbling! Surely we wouldn’t carry on eating our own meal, knowing that our brother sits beside us with nothing.
Many of us are more than willing to get by with a little less so that our brother might have a little more. Not because we feel guilty or obligated, but because we love our brother, and we feel his pain as if it is our own. When we appeal to God for “this day, our daily bread,” we do so as one family, seeking sustenance not just for ourselves, but for all of our brothers and sisters. We take notice when our brother’s plate is empty and we offer from our own plate as needed, so that we all leave the table feeling nourished.
Our Daily Bread. Great post Mary Ann! God led the Israelites in the desert for forty years, feeding them mana day by day until the generation of rebellious complainers died off. After that example, their children, permitted entry into the promised land, should scarcely need all the jubilee laws designed to prevent debt slavery. Yet clearly they did and we do. Do we really imagine that ensuring the radical entitlement of everyone to Sufficient for Today will impoverish the rest? Humanity, today, has the capability to provide everyone with food, shelter and clothing to a level better than most now enjoy. We prove it whenever we respond to a natural disaster. How can we possibly imagine that freeing all the world’s inhabitants from the daily grind to find enough would be harmful? How much love, genius and enterprise is trapped in those lives of perpetual want? Can we imagine that life would be at least as rich as we now enjoy if everyone actually enjoyed “Daily Bread”?
Thanks for adding your thoughts & insights, Raymond!
You are reading my mind for my blog this week. I’m sure that manna is part of the formula for understanding this prayer. And seeing the overwhelming response to the tornado in my own community I am again assured that humans know how to care for others, but too quickly forget the lesson of the manna.