Pope in General Audience: Jesus wants us to pray for our brothers and sisters

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In his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the “Our Father” prayer. This week he focused on the first petition in the second part of the prayer, “give us this day our daily bread.”

The pope stressed that this petition reminds one they are not self-sufficient. He said Jesus teaches everyone to make this invocation daily, united with those people who struggle for the “bare necessities of life.”

The pope added that Jesus' words reminds one that Christian prayer is a “prayer of empathy and solidarity” for “our brothers and sisters.”

He concluded by using the example of Jesus' miracle of feeding 5.000 people. He said this action shows Jesus desire to assist others. It also anticipates the ultimate offering of Himself “bread of the Eucharist,” which alone is capable of satisfying one's hunger for God. 


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our continuing catechesis on the “Our Father”, we now turn to the second part of the prayer, where we present our needs to God. The first such petition, that God “give us this day our daily bread”, stems from the fact, often forgotten, that we are not sufficient unto ourselves. 

We need to be nourished every day. Yet Jesus teaches us to make this invocation united with the many men and women for whom this prayer is also a plea, forged amid a daily struggle for the bare necessities of life. 

Seen in this light, Jesus’ words appear with even greater force, reminding us that Christian prayer is not an exercise for ascetics, but emerges from the needs of real people.

The bread we are to seek, then, is not my but our bread. Jesus wants us to pray, not for ourselves but for our brothers and sisters. In this way the “Our Father” becomes a prayer of empathy and solidarity.

We see such a desire to assist others in the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, where Jesus also anticipates the ultimate offering of himself in the bread of the Eucharist, which alone is capable of fully satisfying our hunger for God himself.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Ireland, Denmark, Japan and the United States of America. May the Lenten journey bring us to Easter with hearts purified and renewed by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Upon you, and your families, I invoke joy and peace in Christ our Redeemer!

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