What is meant by “daily bread” for which we pray every time we say the Lord’s Prayer?
Martin Luther in his Small Catechism has a very comprehensive answer: “Everything that belongs to the support and wants of the body, such as meat, drink, clothing, shoes, house, homestead, field, cattle, money, goods, a pious spouse, pious children, pious servants, pious and faithful magistrates, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.”
Late professor of theology Jan Milíč Lochman from Basel in Switzerland called it “Holy Materialism” and he was right. We live in bodies, and any religion which offers “pie in the sky” is a blasphemy.
On the other hand, there is a connection between the material and the spiritual, because the choices we make about these basic necessities (what we eat, how we eat, with whom we eat...) have profound spiritual consequences.
That is why Jesus made eating such an important part of his ministry. He taught people the message of the Kingdom of God in words, and then he put those words, that same message, into practice by healing people and inviting them to his table, which he opened for everyone.
Those who were hungry, he fed. To those who were burdened by ideological or religious scruples, he offered liberation. Those who were excluded by prejudice, he welcomed.
Food in Jesus’ hands became a divine medicine, medicine of hunger, medicine of individuals, medicine of society. It is not a coincidence that a meal with the resurrected became the major characteristic of his followers (and the sacrament of his religion).
This Sunday we will talk about and be invited by Jesus to his healing feast.