Lenten Prayer with St Cuthbert – Day 21

The disciples ask Jesus to teach them a prayer. After all, that’s what wandering rabbis do for their disciples, like John the Baptist. So he teaches them the prayer we say every day. But right at the beginning is this enigmatic request, ‘Give us today our daily bread.’ Later, of course, at the Last Supper, Jesus breaks the daily bread and says ‘This is my body given for you’. And all this calls to mind the first temptation Jesus faced in the wilderness, when he, the Bread, was tempted to make bread, but responded, ‘man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ But the Broken Daily Bread is also the Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. There’s a lot to chew on in this prayer.

Very practically, Cuthbert wants somewhere sheltered to go to the toilet each day. But the monks bringing his weekly supplies totally forget the necessary floorboards. Not to worry, though, when the sea obliges by throwing up a plank of the right size next morning. It may not seem much to us, but clearly it served a much needed purpose! The point is, though, that, where we perhaps tend to see coincidence, they have different eyes, seeing the wonder of creation in a way we seem to have lost.

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