18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Matthew 14:13-21
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied.
It is well known how the modernist and rationalist interpreters of Sacred Scripture will attempt to twist the multiplication of the loaves (indeed, we should say “multiplications”, since Jesus did this more than once) from a miracle into an instance of sharing.
“It wasn’t a miracle,” they tell us. “Or, rather, the miracle was that our Lord got the people to share!” Now, I don’t intend here to point out that such “scholars” have little understanding of the Gospels – how the event is clearly related as a miracle, how the crowds (according to St. John) wanted to make Jesus a political King on account of the fact that he could solve all their material problems with his power, how our Savior himself reminds the Apostles that he had fed the multitudes with only some loaves and a few fish (remember, he was with them on the boat and told them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees).
I could do all this, many have done so before – it is the very necessary project of apologetics (the first phase of theology). However, I wish to consider the multiplication according to the higher science of theology proper: What would it mean if this were only a case of sharing? And, What did Christ tell us when he worked this great miracle?