Monday, July 27, 2009

The Miracle of Sharing?

I was a little dismayed this morning when our pastor preached on the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes using the "exegesis" that goes: one boy came forward willing to share his lunch, and after the disciples got everyone to sit down and Jesus blessed the boy's lunch and started handing it out, then everyone realised that there would be enough to go around if only they too shared what they had brought...

Two questions:

1) Do you think this interpretetion "spoils" the miracle by downgrading it to a pot-luck dinner?
2) Did your pastor use this idea?


At Monday, July 27, 2009 4:59:00 am , Anonymous Matthias said...

was this a Lutheran or Catholic pastor Schutz??

At Monday, July 27, 2009 9:03:00 am , Anonymous Weedon said...

One of those odd Sundays when the three year and the one year more or less coincide (though we had Mark's account). Here's how I preached it:

At Monday, July 27, 2009 11:15:00 am , Anonymous Paul said...

I heard the homily you describe a couple of years ago, but not today.
I think the "explanation" of your homily concentrates too much simply on the "where can we get some good take-away" problem the Disciples had, and does downgrade the miracle.

The homily I heard today said that the miracle demonstrated that when we bring our poor gifts to the Lord, he can use them to do great things - we are tranformed by God's relationship with us. That made sense to me and seemed to be talking about a much more important issue than a shortage of food one day.
The priest today also pointed out that John was the only Evangelist who does not mention the Eucharist at the Last Supper (I hope I got that right), and this miracle is his message (or rather, his report of Jesus' message) about Eucharist.
The priest then gave us homework to study John 6 in preparation for the Gospels of the next few Sundays - I think giving homework is not a bad idea in a homily.

At Monday, July 27, 2009 1:30:00 pm , Anonymous FrGregACCA said...

You got it right, Paul, and so did the priest. In John, the story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, a foreshadowing of the institution of the Eucharist, is the preface for Jesus' discourse on himself as "the bread of life", the heart of which is John 6:53: "Unless all of you eat the flesh of the Son of [Adam], and drink his blood, you shall not have life within you."

At Tuesday, July 28, 2009 6:42:00 am , Anonymous Joshua said...

Good, Perry:

To insist on a reductionist, materialist interpretation is terribly narrow, and, as you say, misses the point of the sign - which the crowd certainly got: This really is the Prophet who has come into the world. Our Lord, alas, had thereupon to scarper, since, misunderstanding His Messiahship, the crowd came to seize Him and make Him King by force... It is not material, but spiritual food, sustenance for our souls unto everlasting life, that Christ offers (though not in a body-denying manner of course!). Sheen puts it well that Communism offered land and bread, just as the Roman Emperors, bread and circuses - but both were but distractions for the plebs. Our Lord offers to feed us that we may have the strength to walk His way to heaven, and be seated with Him upon His Father's throne.

At Tuesday, July 28, 2009 6:56:00 pm , Anonymous Schütz said...

Catholic. He is my parish "pastor", a term still in use in the Catholic Church even though we don't use the title as a form of address.

Incidentally, we were staying with Bishop Anthony Fisher in Sydney recently, and my youngest daughter called him "Pastor Anthony" - which I told him was the greatest possible compliment he could be paid by a Lutheran!

At Tuesday, July 28, 2009 8:59:00 pm , Anonymous Kiran said...

1)Oh yes, it does. It comes from the whole naturalist tradition that begins with the premise that miracles cannot happen. I do tend to Perry's point though, that it isn't wrong so much because it "downgrades" as because it misrepresents the facts and pushes a certain viewpoint. The thing I suppose which most concerns me is that, here, revelation rather than coming first comes a distant second in understanding the ways of God.

2) No. Thank heavens. We had a nice homily on Caritas in Veritate.

At Wednesday, July 29, 2009 5:12:00 am , Anonymous Connie said...

Something to that effect was published in the church bulletin. I think it does downgrade the miracle and how does it explain the 12 baskets which were left over.

At Friday, July 31, 2009 12:30:00 am , Anonymous Louise said...

1. Yes (I agree with Kiran's view)

2. Mercifully, no.


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