OK, I’m taking it out of context, but I like the idea that we not only ask the Father for our daily bread, but we also ask him for ‘this day’. That is to say, we don’t ask him for everything all lined up for the future neat and tidy. We’re not asking him for the complete pension plan, the job for life and the Happydale Retirement Home. We ask him for ‘this day.’ I like that. We ask him for what we need here and now.
Remember the Israelites in the desert? They were given enough manna for just one day. If they ate it, fine. If they stored it up it went rotten. Isn’t that just the truth? What have you ever gained by saving lots and lots of money? OK, save some for a rainy day, but how much more exciting to live by faith and live within your means and trust God day by day because you say to him, “Give us this day”?
There’s more. I’m intrigued by the idea of the ‘sacrament of the present moment’ as taught be deCaussade. Here in this moment, and nowhere else, God’s grace and reality can be found. Give us this day. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. This day. Today. Right now. Nowhere else and no place else and no time else. Here God will reveal his grace. Here in this moment he is alive and you are alive and the past is a memory of nostalgia or regret and tomorrow is an imagination of worry or fear, or at the best a scrap of hope.
On the other hand, ‘this day’ is here and now and it is real. This moment is real. Therefore now is the time to find God. Behold, today is the day of salvation. When you think about it, where is eternity, except in the present moment? Have you thought about it? Eternity is outside of time, therefore eternity is one eternal moment. It is an eternal ‘now’. Therefore, the closest we can get to eternity is right now. Here: this place: this time.
So “Give us This Day” is a precious scrap of the Lord’s Prayer for as we meditate on this reality of this present moment we realize that if we cannot find God here and now, then we cannot find him anywhere or any time. This links with the Benedictine vow of stability–in which the monk or nun promises stability to one monastery in one place with one group of people. It is there that they will find God. No sense running after some illusion. No sense dreaming of some wonderful future where all will be holy and bright. No sense day dreaming about somewhere else or some time in the future when you will be holy. Do it now.
You may not have any other time. Indeed, you will never have any other time than NOW.