Theological Thursday: Our Daily Bread

 Isn’t it interesting that Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”?

As a comfortable 21st century American, I am rarely hungry for long. I usually interpret this verse spiritually, asking God to supply all my needs and help me rely on him rather than engage in self-sufficiency or a Pelagian self-reliance. 

But today I was hungry. Really hungry. And I was not sure when I would get food. I have been hungry a lot recently, since I am now in Rome everyday, usually for about 6 hours. I have not sorted to whether to bring food with me or wait until I get home to eat, and I’ve tried various options with little success (since I don’t eat breakfast foods that are easily portable.) Today I was overcome with hunger and it almost felt like an existential crisis. I broke down and bought a spicy salami panini (doesn’t that even sound delicious?). I usually avoid everything in it–pork, cheese and white bread. But I devoured it like I had not eaten in a week. 

Then somehow the Lord’s Prayer came to mind. I had prayed it multiple times already today. But that verse came to my mind. I thought, “Who would suggest a prayer for daily bread to rich people? Rich people don’t worry about their daily bread. They worry about hiring the cooks who make the bread or the investments that generated the money that paid for the bread. But daily bread is not a wealthy person’s prayer.” 

I realized that Christ really did speak to the poor. He loved the poor. He identified with the poor. In many ways, he was poor. I love that. It really helps me to embrace the poverty in my life, and detach from worldly concerns.