Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Courage

Readings for Wednesday, October 6/
Memorial of St. Bruno:
Galatians 2:1-2,7-14
Psalm 117:1,2
Luke 11:1-4


Give us each day our daily bread.

Traditionally we have seen this petition of the Lord’s Prayer to have two meanings. First it is the Bread of Life, the Eucharist. This is the Bread that sustains our spiritual life and give us grace. Secondly, and linked to it, is the daily bread of the many graces that we need to make it through the day.

If we look at the Letter to the Galatians, we can see that what we need daily as part of that ‘daily bread’ is the virtue of courage. St. Paul recounts here how St. Peter failed to exhibit this virtue. The Jews traditionally separated themselves from the Gentiles, and so would not eat with them at meals. Knowing this was not really in line with Christian belief, St. Peter would eat with the Gentiles when the Jews weren’t around, but as soon as they showed up he would again distance himself from the Gentile Christian community because he was afraid of what the Jews would do or say. St. Paul recognized this and, although he was the least of the Apostles, called St. Peter out for doing something that was out of line. Here he showed great courage in stepping up to the leader of the Christian community to bring him back to the truth.

As we come to receive the daily bread of the Eucharist today, may we also receive the great gift of courage so that we might be able to do those things that we ought to do and to bring back those who have strayed from the truth.