I was reading an article on The Remnant website dealing with a sermon Pope Francis gave during his whirlwind tour of Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. The sermon, as related in the original Spanish and in the English translation given by the anonymous author, Father X, offers a moral interpretation of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Being that the miracle was performed by Our Lord two times, once with five thousand people, and again with four thousand, I assume the moral of the lesson can be applied to either account. The pope did not deny the literal fact, but, for some reason he did not affirm it either. At least in this sermon. Here are his words: “The hands which Jesus lifts to bless God in heaven are the same hands which gave bread to the hungry crowd. We can imagine how those people passed the loaves of bread and the fish from hand to hand, until they came to those farthest away. Jesus generated a kind of electrical current among His followers, as they shared what they had, made it a gift for others, and so ate their fill. Unbelievably, there were even leftovers: enough to fill seven baskets.” (Taken from the Vatican website and since removed) Actually, as Father X, points out, the original Spanish is more problematic, for in place of “they shared what they had” the original reads “they all went on sharing what was their own.” (todos iban compartiendo lo propio)
I was astonished to read in Father’s article that there actually are theologians, calling themselves Catholic, who do deny the literal fact of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (and how many other miracles?) as given in all four Gospels. What do they say really happened? They say that the miracle was in the sharing of the bread (and fish, too) that some of the crowd already had tucked away under their robes. The Apostles did not see that private stash in telling Our Lord there were only five loaves and two fishes, for “what are these among so many?”
Furthermore, the liberal loons contradict the words of Christ Himself who said to the Twelve: “I have compassion on the multitudes, because they continue with me now three days, and have not what to eat, and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way” (Matt. 15:32, my emphasis).
You can read Father Xs’ excellent analysis here. I added the verse concerning the compassion of the Lord on the multitude who had nothing to eat (Matthew and Mark 8:32) to reenforce what the author writes in his defense of the historical fact. There are others, such as this monitory lesson given to the Apostles not long afterwards when they forgot to take bread with them: “Do you not yet understand, neither do you remember the five loaves among five thousand men, and how many baskets you took up?” (Matt. 16:9)
Let us have faith and be believers without seeing, remembering always “with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26).
The Remnant, Father X: A few weeks ago alarm bells went off in my head when someone forwarded me an excerpt from an English-language translation of a sermon he preached in the Pope’s recent trip to South America, relating the loaves-and-fishes event to the Eucharist. Let me explain. Read the full article here.