Week of the Sunday after Epiphany
– Saturday –
Give us this day our daily bread. – Matthew 6:11.
A year before His death, about the time of the Passover, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee with His disciples, seeking a little recreation on the eastern shore after much hard work. But a great multitude followed Him, because they saw the miracles which He did on those who were diseased. And so He could find no rest. Toward evening He went up into a mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. And when He saw the great multitude, He said to Philip: “Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?” This He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered: “Two hundred pennyworth (denarii, about 30 dollars’ worth) of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.” One of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto Him: “There is a lad here who hath five barley loves and two small fishes; but what are these among so many?” Jesus said: “Make the men sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when He had given thanks, He distributed to His disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down, and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, He said to His disciples: “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over unto them that had eaten (John 6:1-13). All four evangelists tell this story. Two of them were eyewitnesses. It was an exceedingly great divine miracle. It shows you Christ’s divine glory. It also reveals His compassionate heart. Is it “too hard” (Genesis 18:14a) for the Lord to give you each day your daily bread, to provide for your daily needs? The Apostle Paul reminds you that your gracious God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Continue to trust in Him more and more for your daily bread, your daily, earthly, bodily needs. However, the most important “bread” is “the Bread of life” (John 6:35), the Savior for the world, Christ Jesus, the Bread of life for your daily spiritual needs for your precious soul, to nourish it with the Word of God and the priceless Sacraments for our great good and for the glory and honor of the merciful Giver of these gifts for our bodies and for our souls. “O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endureth forever” (Psalm 136:1).
PRAYER – Lord Jesus, my all-knowing, almighty, and forgiving God, continue, in Thy mercy, to daily give me, my daily bread for both my body and my soul. Remind us again and again of Thy good counsel: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [your daily bread for your bodies, for your earthly needs] shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). Help me each and every day; I need Thy help. Amen.
The Lord hath helped me hitherto, by His surpassing favor;
His mercies ev’ry morn were new; His kindness did not waver.
God hitherto hath been my Guide, hath pleasures hitherto supplied,
and hitherto hath helped me.
Help me, henceforth, O God of grace; help me on each occasion;
help me in each and ev’ry place; help me thro’ Jesus’ passion;
help me in life and death, O God; help me thro’ Jesus’ dying blood;
help me as Thou hast helped me.
Hymn 33, stanzas 1 and 3 (TLH)
Weekly Theme: The Sermon on the Mount
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:1-4
1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
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