Loaves & Fishes: the Miracle that Never Happened?

by Steve Ray on February 20, 2008

loaves-fishes-tilapia002.jpgJesus didn’t really do a miracle, right? He just taught everyone to care and share, right? You’ve heard that homily, right? The people had all brought picnic baskets which they kept hidden up under their robes. Jesus convinced them all to pull out their picnic baskets to share with everyone else. The REAL miracle was not in multiplying loaves and fish, but in teaching people to share.

Isn’t that sweet. And after they all shared their food Jesus taught them to sing “Kum Ba Ya” and started a liturgical dance. A good time was had by all! Or so say the trendy homilists!

Well I had ENOUGH of that nonsense. I sat at Mass on Corpus Christi Sunday and heard the priest insult the intelligence of everyone in the church. He also insulted the Word of God and the tradition of the Church. He twisted the Gospel reading like a rubber nose and I almost stood up to protest. But my good wife said, “Steve, no! Go home and write!” So I did.

About 12 pages later I had written a very thorough response to the priest and to all others who preach this nonsense. I sent a copy to the priest, to his bishop and to Catholic Answers. It was then published in the January issue of THIS ROCK Magazine. I hope this thorough rebuttal of nonsense will be copied and given to homilists. Hopefully we can put this insulting claptrap to bed once and for all.

For the whole article buy the January issue of THIS ROCK, or read the unedited and rough version here.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Nourse February 20, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Steve, believe me, I understand your frustration. I used to live in NW Pennsylvania, in a very liberal diocese… the heresy of the day there was priests teaching Karl Rahner’s garbage about Christ not knowing that he was God until he was hanging on the cross, or worse, until the resurrection… what crap.

You must have heroic patience (another phrase for “wife” maybe)…Someday the truth will all be revealed to the detriment of some I imagine.

God help us all.
Your brother (and fellow convert) in Christ,

magdalen February 21, 2008 at 11:31 PM

Yes, I have heard this heretical version myself and more than once and one time was from a lay woman who was a guest homilist!

Mostly on Corpus Christi or when the 6th chapter of the Gospel of John comes up, it is ignored as in a protestant church. Sometimes we get a mission appeal. Or only the first reading is discussed. You see, first of all, the PRIEST MUST BELIEVE in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. And that is a problem. He may not come out overtly and say he does not believe, but it shows. It breaks the heart.

W.J. Kirkpatrick February 24, 2008 at 1:31 AM

Hey Steve:

Just a quick note to let you know that this kind of nonsense happens in Protestant churches, too (mostly mainline–Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, etc., but not limited to that, these days).

As a matter of fact, this particular corruption of scripture is directly responsible for the founding of one of the biggest Protestant/evangelical publishing houses–Gospel Light/Regal Publications. It seems that the woman who founded it, Henrietta C. Mears, was outraged to find the “Jesus got everyone to share to share their lunch” story in the denominational Sunday School literature–for the children, no less! Since she was the head of the Sunday School, she was in a positon to put a stop to such nonsense–and did so, with her pastor’s support. She started writing and publishing the Sunday School materials for her church, Hollywood Presbyterian. The material she put out was so good that other churches, Presbyterian and others, started asking for copies, and they had to keep expanding…If Miss Mears’ name is not familiar to you, probably some of the people she inspired to work in Christian ministry are: Billy Graham, Bill and Vonette Bright( Campus Crusade founders), Dawson Trotman (The Navigators),and Richard C. Halverson and about 400 others.

I like reading your blog, even though I’m not Catholic. I like the way you think, and I love your sense of humor! (Some Christian bloggers have no sense of humor whatsoever–I swear they were baptised with lemon or pickle juice!)

Chris Lapain February 28, 2008 at 10:37 AM

Dear Steve
Sorry to hear of your experience, I too have had the same experience with this topic and have been told by my wife to please not make a stand during Mass but to offer your prayers during Mass for Father. Have You ever heard the one also about Jonah and his inability to be in a whale ? Could You please comment on this topic as it has also come up and I need a good rebutal for it . It just blows my mind that these same Priests that can’t accept these minor miricles wouldn’t have the same difficulty accepting the greatest miricle of the Eurcharist !!!! Or do they ? God Bless You and Your ministry and family .
Your Brother in Christ

Fabiana September 6, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Dear Steve,

I came across your blog after a google search on this topic. I read your rough draft and I am just so thankful and glad that you’ve written it and cleared the record for me personally. I look forward to reading the final published article as well.

I was born and raised Catholic and love my faith and religion. I had always believed in the miracle of the loaves and fishes – it was instinctive for the very reasons that you outlined in your article (i.e., reading Scripture as affirmations of truth, following the teachings of the Fathers and those devout before us, etc.)

Earlier last year, I watched a movie where the main character, a little boy, loved saints and dreamed about them. On one of these encounters, one of the saints (I forgot which), “explained” to him that the feeding of the thousands was actually not a true miracle but essentially a “miracle of the heart,” as you call it. I had never heard such an interpretation before and brushed it off as a clever, silly story. The movie itself had a good Christian message so I didn’t think it would simultaneously attempt to undermine Scripture. Time passed and I didn’t look up information on it, because I figured it couldn’t really be the case that it wasn’t a literal miracle. However, I realized that not getting to the bottom of it was a serious matter – was it not really a miracle? What does that mean? Do I just believe it because I “have” to, instead of understanding WHY I believe it?

Your article shed light on the Truth, the Way and the Life – God himself! I am convinced that the feeding of the thousands was indeed a true miracle expressing Christ’s divinity, and your article was very informative and thorough in allowing me to see and understand the Truth. What really did it for me: “it is clear what happened and where the miraculous bread came from. It came from the hands of Jesus, not the people!” (p. 5 of your draft) All of the Scriptural accounts of this miracle undoubtedly recount that Jesus took the bread and fish, blessed them, broke them and gave them to His disciples to distribute. It was a miracle of His hands.

I wanted to share my story with you as a sign of appreciation. The Lord has blessed you with a great gift of sharing and writing, and I look forward to coming back to your site and blog for your writings on other topics.

God bless, and again, thank you.

In Christ,
Los Angeles, CA

Susie December 12, 2014 at 8:02 AM

I would hope that you could update this as clicking the link to read the entire article you wrote, Steve, does not work. Thank you and God bless you. † – susie’

STEVE RAY HERE: Here is the fixed link: http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/loaves-and-fishes

Donna Spencer March 17, 2015 at 8:53 PM

I heard this same nonsense preached at St. Patrick’s cathedral in NYC one Sunday, and again in my home town one Sunday! Do they totally miss the Eucharistic pre-figurement? Do they not believe in miracles?

Patricia March 9, 2016 at 4:34 AM

Here in the Philippines some priests are speaking same homily you’ve heard Sir Steve, and sad to say, even the children’s Cathecists. I used to believe it but upon reading the bible I was reminded of all other miracles that Jesus performed. Maybe they could try refuting this only one by their false explanations but not the Exorcisms, Healing of the blinds, lames and the rest.

God speed and God bless Sir Steve.

Your sister in Christ,

Ulysses J Abellera April 30, 2017 at 9:11 AM

Steve, I am from the Philippines and I heard that sermon too. Almost got out of the Mass.Problem is I don’t have the heart to tell the Priest he’s wrong.

Yul April 30, 2017 at 9:17 AM

Heard that sermon too.Got really distracted in the mass.How can we have the heart to say they should re-examine their understanding of that event?

Marguerite-Marie LEFRANC May 18, 2019 at 1:25 AM

The link to the article is broken, please provide us a way to read it.

STEVE RAY HERE: The link worked for me but here it is


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