”: The trust of children who look to their Father
for everything is beautiful. “He makes his sun rise on the evil and
on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
gives to all the living “their food in due season.”
Jesus teaches us
this petition, because it glorifies our Father by acknowledging
how good he is, beyond all goodness.
“Give us” also expresses the covenant. We are his and he is
ours, for our sake. But this “us” also recognizes him as the Father
of all men and we pray to him for them all, in solidarity with their
needs and sufferings.
”: The Father who gives us life cannot but give
us the nourishment life requires—all appropriate goods and bless
ings, both material and spiritual. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus
insists on the filial trust that cooperates with our Father’s provi
He is not inviting us to idleness,
but wants to relieve
us from nagging worry and preoccupation. Such is the filial sur
render of the children of God:
To those who seek the kingdom of God and his righteous
ness, he has promised to give all else besides. Since every
thing indeed belongs to God, he who possesses God wants
for nothing, if he himself is not found wanting before
But the presence of those who hunger because they lack
bread opens up another profound meaning of this petition. The
drama of hunger in the world calls Christians who pray sincerely
to exercise responsibility toward their brethren, both in their per
sonal behavior and in their solidarity with the human family. This
petition of the Lord’s Prayer cannot be isolated from the parables
of the poor man Lazarus and of the Last Judgment.
117 St. Cyprian,
De Dom. orat.
21: PL 4, 534A.