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Our Daily Bread

August 23, 2010

It is from the hands of their mother

that children expect their daily bread,

although she has not the power to provide it,

even for a single day.

Knowing this,

she depends on her heavenly Father

to receive her efforts

and to multiply them

for the sake of these children

who are first of all His Own.

Every day, we need to eat. The vocation of the mother includes providing this food, both for basic nourishment and for the gathering of the family that is its context. When we hear of the tragedy of homeless children who wander the streets in search of shelter and food, it is unimaginable! How can any child live so?

But every day, children who have no second thoughts about the supply of food in the kitchen, still lack the basic necessity, both communal and interior, of a family table. “Give us this day our daily bread;” that is what we pray. Not “give me” but “give us,” because if we eat our bread alone, we receive half the nourishment. Who will provide the “us?” Who will make sure that there is a gathering?

This lies within the vocation of motherhood.

Each day, we have a new challenge. For those who have little, the challenge is to gather, to make the best of what is there and to be cheerful and loving about it, trusting the Lord who has given us life and will show us the next step in living it. For those who have plenty, the challenge is to gather and be grateful, to remember that it is not by our own strength and wisdom that we are able to provide; it is a gift. Use it well; use it for love; build a culture of love. Build it every day.

Remember, the poor are never tired of being hungry; the well-fed had better not tire of being grateful and working for a culture of grace. Give it everything you have, and do not let God look down and say it would be better for you to be hungry as well. Let him rather come to your table and say that this family welcomes him, walks with him, and will build a world where everyone has good bread, for body and heart together.

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