Monday of Lent 4
Give us this day our daily bread. ó Matthew 6:11
We do not realize how precarious our lives are. The devil desires to destroy us through war, hardship, plague, and pestilence. The devil desires to burn our homes and destroy our food, so that there isnít even a crumb left. This liar also seeks to corrupt our hearts through the abundance of Godís goodly gifts.
And yet, our prayers are heard. God gives us daily bread. He gives us clothing. He feeds us. He gives us peace, not only spiritual peace, but also political peace.
Our God does all this for a number of reasons. First, Our God does this out
of the same gratuitous goodness which secured our redemption. Second, God blesses us with physical gifts so that we might be open to spiritual mysteries. The Israelites could not believe Moses, because of Pharaohís oppression (Exodus 6:9). Paul urges us to pray for the government so that we might dwell in peace and godliness (1 Timothy 2). Finally, Christ Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was born during the reign of Caesar Augustus, who ushered
in a time of peace and prosperity in the Empire, so that Christís Gospel might be spread to all nations.
We are men, both body and soul. Carnal peace is necessary for the Gospel to be spread. We require the necessities of this mortal life, so that we might better see the things of the world to come. Both fasting and feasting are important. The one reminds us that we do not live by bread alone. The other reminds us that all good gifts come from God, and that our feasting is a foreshadowing of the wedding feast of the Lamb. May God teach us to realize that He is the Giver of all good things, so that we may rejoice in these gifts with thanksgiving.
Heavenly Father, at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. We thank You for our daily bread, and we ask that You, through carnal peace, would spread that peace which surpasses all understanding. Amen.