With what exquisite choice has divine Wisdom arranged the order of this prayer that, after the matters which pertain to heaven--that is, after the name of God, the will of God, and the kingdom of God--it should make a place for a petition for our earthly needs, too! For our Lord has taught us: 'Seek first the kingdom, and then these things shall be given you besides.'
However, we should rather understand 'Give us this day our daily bread' in a spiritual sense. For Christ is 'our bread,' because Christ is Life and the Life is Bread. 'I am,' said He, 'the bread of life.' And shortly before: 'The bread is the word of the living God who hath come down from heaven.' Then, because His Body is considered to be in the bread: 'This is my body.' Therefore, when we ask for our daily bread, we are asking to live forever in Christ and to be inseparably united with His Body.
But, since there is admitted also an interpretation of this phrase according to the flesh, it cannot be devoid of religious sense and spiritual instruction. Christ commands that we ask for bread, which, for the faithful, is the only thing necessary, for the pagans seek all other things. Thus, too, He impresses His teaching by examples and He instructs by parables, saying, for example: 'Does a father take bread from his children and cast it to the dogs?' And again: 'If his son asks him for a loaf, will he hand him a stone?' He indicates what children expect from their father. That caller, too, who knocked upon the door in the night was asking for bread.
Moreover, He has rightly added: 'Give us this day' in view of what He had previously said: 'Do not be anxious about tomorrow, what you shall eat.' To this idea He also referred in the parable of that man who, when his crops were plentiful, laid plans for an addition to his barns and a long-range program of security--though he was destined to die that very night.