What denotes “Give us today our daily bread”?
The multiplication of five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand people was not to establish that Jesus was a miracle worker but to create awareness that hunger is the most challenging problem faced by mankind and feeding the hungry was a sublime act that a human person must do as his personal a
Feeding the hungry is an essential and integral aspect of Christian theology and thinking mandated by Jesus himself (Luke 9: 11 – 17): “You yourselves give them something to eat.”
The multiplication of five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand people was not to establish that Jesus was a miracle worker but to create awareness that hunger is the most challenging problem faced by mankind and feeding the hungry was a sublime act that a human person must do as his personal and communitarian vocation.
This is the scale on which a human being will be judged by God ultimately. “I was hungry and you fed me.” Even nations will be judged by God on this basis (Matthew 25: 31 -36). Christianity has been following this mandate of Jesus in various ways in various situations exceptionally well and the latest example is the refugee crisis triggered by Islamic State.
Pope Francis has been gifting every high cost cars he received for auctioning out and using its proceeds for feeding the hungry. One of the greatest Catholic theologians of India Father Samuel Rayan, SJ gives a beautiful poetic expression to this mandate of feeding:
“Rice is for sharing,
Bread must be broken and given.
Every bowl, every belly shall have its fill,
To leave a single bowl unfilled is
To rob history of its meaning;
To grab many a bowl for myself is
To empty history of God.”
We must remember that Bethlehem is a house of bread and this bread is for breaking and sharing in a fellowship. Then only we will have the full satisfaction when we have our bread and full meaning when we pray give us today our daily bread in the Lord’s Prayer. Let us heed to Father Samuel Rayan.
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