As leaven in the dough, the newness of the kingdom
should make the earth “rise” by the Spirit of Christ.
be shown by the establishment of justice in personal and social,
economic and international relations, without ever forgetting that
there are no just structures without people who want to be just.
“Our” bread is the “one” loaf for the “many.” In the
Beatitudes “poverty” is the virtue of sharing: it calls us to commu
nicate and share bothmaterial and spiritual goods, not by coercion
but out of love, so that the abundance of some may remedy the
needs of others.
“Pray and work.”
“Pray as if everything depended on
God and work as if everything depended on you.”
we have done our work, the food we receive is still a gift from our
Father; it is good to ask him for it and to thank him, as Christian
families do when saying grace at meals.
This petition, with the responsibility it involves, also ap
plies to another hunger from which men are perishing: “Man does
not live by bread alone, but . . . by every word that proceeds from
the mouth of God,”
that is, by the Word he speaks and the Spirit
he breathes forth. Christians must make every effort “to proclaim
the good news to the poor.” There is a famine on earth, “not a fam
ine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the
For this reason the specifically Christian sense of this
fourth petition concerns the Bread of Life: The Word of God ac
cepted in faith, the Body of Christ received in the Eucharist.
” is also an expression of trust taught us by the
which we would never have presumed to invent. Since it
refers above all to his Word and to the Body of his Son, this “today”
is not only that of our mortal time, but also the “today” of God.
If you receive the bread each day, each day is today for you.
If Christ is yours today, he rises for you every day. How can
this be? “You are my Son, today I have begotten you.”
Therefore, “today” is when Christ rises.
121 Cf. St. Benedict,
122 Attributed to St. Ignatius Loyola, cf. Joseph de Guibert, SJ,
Their Spiritual Doctrine and Practice,
(Chicago: Loyola University Press,
1964), 148, n. 55.
127 St. Ambrose,
5, 4, 26: PL 16, 453A; cf.