Praying Before Meals - A Refresher

Are we a thankful people, or have we taken a lot of things for granted? Sometimes I notice in some families, family prayer, prayer before meals, etc. are no longer observed. Everyone seems to be busy, tired, giving so many excuses.

We recall many passages in the Gospels where Jesus prayed and taught others to pray. Jesus taught us the Our Father, which we use in many of our prayers, including the Mass. When feeding the 5000, Jesus "took the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. (Matthew 14:19)" At the Last Supper, Jesus "took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, 'Take and eat; this is my body.' Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you...' (Matthew 26:26-27)."

Some people may say that they feel shy, pai seh, or embarrassed to pray before a meal. But the question is... why are you embarrassed or shy when what you are doing is thanking God for the food you are about to receive? Have some of us lack patience and gratitude for God's bounty? Perhaps, to refresh ones memory in case one has forgotten how to pray before a meal, one could pray as follows:

Bless us, O Lord, and these Your gifts, which I am (we are) about to receive, from Your bounty, through Christ our Lord, Amen.

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