February 23, 2021

Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

Give us this day our daily bread…

This line in the Our Father should be especially meaningful for those of us who have a eucharistic spirituality. In such a short prayer, is it not strange that we should have such a repetition as this day and daily? The answer is not that obvious but relies on the fact that the word daily is a rather unique one in Greek. This is the only place that it is found in the Bible. In fact, it is the only place it is found in any Greek literature that we know. It is such a strange word that even the Greek Fathers were not sure how it should be understood.

However, it seems that this unique word was coined to denote a rather unique reality in the church: the Eucharist. What was one to call that special bread that was more than bread, that bore the presence of Christ himself? The word Eucharist was not coined until the end of the century. So, they coined a particular word to denote what today we call our eucharistic bread. Because the word they chose was so different, it did not last. However, the biblical word is still there today, and we translate it to mean daily. But we are not dealing with the bread that we eat each day; it is that special bread given us by Jesus at the Last Supper.

However, praying today for our daily bread should not prevent us from appreciating what we are really praying for. And this should fill us with gratitude to Jesus for giving us this bread, bought at the price of his death on the cross. Can we thank Christ for this today?

Let Us Pray:

O loving Lord, help me to appreciate more and more each day the gift of the Eucharist that you give to us, where we can nourish ourselves with your own body. Help my communion with you make me truly your body here on earth.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015.