Gospels in a Year

Today’s Reading: Matthew 6: 5-15

5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

7 “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread; 12 And forgive us our trespasses As we forgive those who trespass against us; 13 And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.

14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Today’s Commentary:

Our daily bread: The Greek epiousios (translated daily) is used only here and in Lk 11:3 in the NT. It probably means “for tomorrow” or “for the future”. The petition thus concerns food for the body and soul:

(1) The necessities of life that fathers give their children is a form of daily bread. This may recall the manna that God provided each day for the Israelites in the wilderness (Ex 16:13-17).

(2) Several Church Fathers interpret daily bread as a reference to the Holy Eucharista form of supernatural sustenance (Acts 2:46). The two connotations are connected, since Jesus advocates dependence on the Father for daily living (6:25-34) and later associates the manna with the Eucharist (Jn 6:30-40; CCC 2837).