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Jesus isn't indifferent to run-of-the-mill requests

PAPIEŻ FRANCISZEK

VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/EAST NEWS

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 03/27/19

He doesn't ask for "refined" invocations, but is attentive to our concrete, everyday petitions

Pope Francis says that our petitions and prayers can be ordinary and run-of-the-mill, and Jesus won’t be indifferent to them.

He said this Wednesday as he continued his reflections on the Our Father, taking up the petition “Give us this day our daily bread.”

“This prayer,” he said, “comes from a fact that we often forget, that is, that we are not self-sufficient creatures and that we need to nourish ourselves every day.”

The Holy Father noted how Scripture shows us that an encounter with Jesus often begins with a request, a prayer to answer a need.

Jesus doesn’t ask for refined invocations. On the contrary, all of human existence, with its most concrete and everyday problems, can become prayer. … Jesus never passes by indifferent to these petitions and these sufferings.

At the same time, the pope emphasized, this petition in the Our Father is a call to solidarity. We are not asking for “my” bread, but “our” bread.

“How many mothers, and how many fathers, even today, go to sleep with the anguish of not having sufficient bread for their children for the next day?” he asked.

Think of “the starving children of Yemen,” he said, “the hungry children in Syria, the hungry children in many countries where there is no bread, in South Sudan.”

Urging solidarity, he appealed: “Let’s get this in our heads: Food is not private property, but providence to be shared with the grace of God.”

And furthermore, this petition encompasses more than bread, including all the necessities of life, such as water, medicine, a home, a job.

“In my hunger I feel the hunger of the multitudes, and then I will pray to God until their request is granted,” he said. “If it is not prayed in this way, the ‘Our Father’ ceases to be a Christian prayer.”

Reflecting on how Jesus multiplied the bread and fishes given by the young boy in the Gospel story, he said that in “multiplying that offered bread, [Jesus] anticipated the offering of Himself in the Eucharistic Bread.

“In fact, only the Eucharist is able to satiate the hunger for the infinite and the desire of God that animates every man, even in the search for daily bread.”

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