That everyone may have daily bread is the blessing that we ask of the Father – to have the means to acquire the food we need and, through his spirit, the opportunities to realize ourselves as God’s sons and daughters in building life. “Give us our daily bread” is not a prayer for us to become inactive and wait for someone else to give us sustenance, shelter or medicine. On the contrary, it is a prayer that inspires us to strive for justice and to work for and with those who have little or nothing, so that everyone has enough food.
We cannot think that God´s wants some people to have an excess of food whilst others live in hunger. The Lord’s Prayer joins us as brothers and sisters in equal dignity as children of the same God.
We could say, “stay with us always”, “every day”. The happiness of men and women, and the happiness of nations, which Monseñor Romero describes to us, should be something permanent, not temporary or given through charity. Instead, we know that all Christians have the great task of making God’s Kingdom come.
“That is God’s project: simple life, ordinary life, but giving it a sense of love and freedom. How beautiful our country would be if we all lived in support of God´s project! Each of us occupied in our work, without trying to dominate anyone, simply earning and eating the food that our families need”.
(Homily of Monseñor Romero, 20 February 1980).
God´s project is based on simplicity. It opposes today´s opulence and profiteering which creates poverty, hunger, environmental harm and a culture of insatiability, in which consumerism is imposed as the economy´s engine. We must change this mentality, so that all families are able to have their daily bread and the Lord´s prayer becomes a reality.
Gerardo Morales, Director of the Jesuit Development Service, a CAFOD partner in El Salvador