Give Us this Day Our Daily Bread

By Sarah McDonald

You know what was one of the most surprising elements of this quarantine for me? The early bread shortage.

Sliced bread supplies were scarce, and there were limits as to how many one could buy at a time. There are seven people in my house, one of whom is a 9-year-old boy, so one loaf of sliced bread does not last that long. It was a little scary to think that we might run out of bread.

What was scarier, you might ask, than a house full of children with no bread? Missing the Eucharist. The “bread of life” had been sacramentally suspended from my life and the lives of virtually all non-clergy around the world.

On the last weekend public Masses were offered, I cried during the consecration and after receiving Communion. I knew in my gut that it would be perhaps a while before I would experience our Lord sacramentally in the Eucharist, and I feared it.

Where is the grace in this you might ask? I have come to appreciate the extraordinary efforts of our priests to bring prayer and Mass to us while we are home. I have learned to appreciate the act of Spiritual Communion like never before.

Most importantly, however, might be that my faith in the real presence of the Eucharist has never been stronger. I never doubted or thought otherwise, but this experience has made my longing to be nourished by the real presence of the Eucharist a true desire of my heart and my reverence for this great gift has grown exponentially.

On Easter, we dressed up in our Easter finest and drove to our church to receive a drive-by blessing from our pastor and parochial vicar. They prayed with us and blessed us with the monstrance. When my eyes made contact with the Eucharist, tears filled them.

I cannot wait to experience the Mass again in person with our community of faith. I hope I never forget how this experience has taught me the true meaning of, “give us this day our daily bread.”

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