Wednesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time (II)

Official Translation

Reading 1 – Galatians 2.1-2, 7-14

Brothers and sisters:
Then after a period of fourteen years
I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus with me also.
I went up by revelation, and I laid before them
the Gospel which I preach among the Gentiles,
but privately before those who were respected,
for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.

On the contrary, when they saw that
I had been entrusted with the Gospel for the uncircumcised, as Peter to preached to the circumcised
(for he who appointed Peter to preach to the circumcised appointed me also to the Gentiles);
and when they perceived the grace that was given to me,
James and Cephas and John, those who were reputed to be pillars,
gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship,
that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcision.
They only asked us to remember the poor—which very thing I was also zealous to do.

But when Kephas came to Antioch, I resisted him to his face, because he stood condemned.
For before some people came from James, he ate with the Gentiles.
But when they came, he drew back and separated himself,
fearing those who were of the circumcision.
And the rest of the Jews joined him in his hypocrisy,
so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
But when I saw that they did not walk uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel,
I said to Peter before them all,
“If you, being a Jew, live as the Gentiles do, and not as the Jews do,
why do you compel the Gentiles to live as the Jews do?”

Responsorial – Psalm 117.1bc, 2 Resp. Mark 16.15

R. Go to all the world and preach the Gospel.

Praise the Lord, all you nations!
Extol him, all you peoples!

R. Go to all the world and preach the Gospel.

For his loving kindness is great toward us.
The Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.

R. Go to all the world and preach the Gospel.

Gospel – Luke 11.1-4

When Jesus finished praying in a certain place,
one of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say,
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come.
Give us each day our supersubstantial bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive all our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation.”


  1. Deacon: Is this your choice of words for the translation: "supersubstantial bread"? I like it, but doesn't sound like the NAB or RSVC.

  2. The Greek word is ἐπιούσιον. It is a compund of ἐπι which means above, higher, more significant and ούσιον which means essence, substance, material. Even in the 3rd century, the top biblical scholars were unsure what it meant. St. Jerome preferred to use the most literal traslation: supersubstantial. There is a case for it meaning daily, but that is by no means certain. The other possible meaning is of course the Eucharist, the bread of a more significant essence. For one lexicon on this word go to this site:

  3. So then, when a Protestant argues that "daily bread" can be gained through reading and meditating on the Bible, his argument dies if the meaning is actually the more specific "Eucharist."

  4. Not necessarily. There are layers. It means first of all an amount of food that is sufficient to get us through the day, not too little nor too much. It then means by analogy enough of everything we need to get us through the day, all of the ούσιον that is required by our material existence. Then it means by further analogy, also the spiritual ούσιον that we need. But then, it cannot be denied that bread, for Jesus, is not just bread. Bread takes on a special meaning in the Gospel, which culminates in the Eucharist at the Last Supper.

    Since Christ did not speak these words in Greek, but the Gospels did write them in Greek, why did the evangelists make up this word, ἐπιούσιον? Was it the most literal translation of what Jesus said in Aramaic? There is a word for "daily" in greek: καθημερινός which literally means, according to the day. That would have been the right word to use, and Luke uses it in Acts 6.1, where it takes on exactly the meaning that we expect of "daily bread". Instead, both Luke and Matthew choose to use this other word which seems to exist only in the Our Father. Clearly, something other than merely "daily bread" is implied.

    If a Protestant wants to claim that their ἐπιούσιον bread comes from reading the Bible, I would ask, how is reading a form of bread? Only by an extended analogy. Whereas, the Eucharist is, quite literally, supersubstantial bread. If we just had the Our Father with this odd word, I would not go looking for special bread, but since at the end of the Gospel Jesus gives us special bread, I cannot help but look back at the special bread referred to in the Our Father and see a connection.

  5. Deacon, you simply amaze me. I've never put all that together, though it falls into place perfectly. I'd continue to say flattering things, but I suspect that, since you've come to understand yourself as a servant (nothing more, nothing less, nothing else), I'll stick with what I consider to be a Kingdom of God compliment, and say, "You're doing well, good and faithful servant." ... See ya at Mass!