Catechism of the Catholic Church

Christian Prayer 681 2837 “ Daily ” ( epiousios ) occurs nowhere else in the New Testa­ ment. Taken in a temporal sense, this word is a pedagogical repe­ tition of “this day,” 128 to confirm us in trust “without reservation.” Taken in the qualitative sense, it signifies what is necessary for life, and more broadly every good thing sufficient for subsistence. 129 Taken literally ( epi-ousios: “super-essential”), it refers directly to the Bread of Life, the Body of Christ, the “medicine of immortality,” without which we have no life within us. 130 Finally in this connec­ tion, its heavenly meaning is evident: “this day” is the Day of the Lord, the day of the feast of the kingdom, anticipated in the Eucharist that is already the foretaste of the kingdom to come. For this reason it is fitting for the Eucharistic liturgy to be celebrated each day. The Eucharist is our daily bread. The power belonging to this divine food makes it a bond of union. Its effect is then understood as unity, so that, gathered into his Body and made members of him, we may become what we receive.... This also is our daily bread: the readings you hear each day in church and the hymns you hear and sing. All these are necessities for our pilgrimage. 131 The Father in heaven urges us, as children of heaven, to ask for the bread of heaven. [Christ] himself is the bread who, sown in the Virgin, raised up in the flesh, kneaded in the Passion, baked in the oven of the tomb, reserved in churches, brought to altars, furnishes the faithful each day with food from heaven. 132 V. “A nd F orgive U s O ur T respasses , as W e F orgive T hose W ho T respass A gainst U s ” 2838 This petition is astonishing. If it consisted only of the first phrase, “And forgive us our trespasses,” it might have been in­ cluded, implicitly, in the first three petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, since Christ’s sacrifice is “that sins may be forgiven.” But, accord­ ing to the second phrase, our petition will not be heard unless we have first met a strict requirement. Our petition looks to the future, but our response must come first, for the two parts are joined by the single word “as.” 128 Cf. Ex 16:19-21. 129 Cf. 1 Tim 6:8. 130 St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Eph. 20, 2: PG 5, 661; Jn 6:53-56. 131 St. Augustine, Sermo 57, 7: PL 38, 389. 132 St. Peter Chrysologus, Sermo 67: PL 52, 392; cf. Jn 6:51. 2659 2633 1405 1166 1389 1425 1933 2631