Corpus Christi Sunday: Multiplication of Loaves a Miracle or Just a Lesson in Sharing?

I post this blog again every time the readings at mass her about the multiplication of loves and fish.

When confronted with this at Mass a while ago I wrote a letter to the priest which became an article in Catholic Answers Magazine. Article HERE. The priest said there was no miracle when Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish. All he did was teach selfish people to share and they pulled extra loaves and fish from their picnic baskets and shared them with everyone. The sharing was so generous that there was a whole lot left over.

In John 6:1-14 it says Jesus fed 5,000 men plus women and children. When Jesus fed the 10,000+ people, he didn’t really do a miracle, right?

He just taught everyone to care and share, right? You’ve probably 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 multiplying loaves and fish, but in teaching selfish people to share.

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

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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.

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 trendy 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 2008 issue of THIS ROCK Magazine.

I hope this thorough rebuttal of nonsense will be copied and given to every homilist who insults us with such pablum. Hopefully we can put this insulting claptrap to bed once and for all.

For the whole article in THIS ROCK click here. My book CROSSING THE TIBER deals extensively with the Eucharist in the Old and New Testaments and the first five centuries of Christianity. You can learn more here.

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This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Carson Weber

    Steve, The year of this incident must have been during Sunday Cycle C. This year is Cycle B, wherein the Gospel for Corpus Christi Sunday is Mark 14:12-16, 22-26 – which is of the Last Supper, not the multiplication of the loaves and fish (e.g. Year C). Year A is John 6.


  2. Howard Richards

    This one goes with the story about how walking on the water was just walking on a sandbar. Of course, that happened (a) at night, (b) during a storm, and (c) in front of experienced fishermen. Not a very plausible action for a mere carpenter!

    I wish these types would have the courage to call it a lie when they mean it’s a lie. They’d be very much in the wrong, but they would be more honest and would probably do less damage; at least the congregation, and hopefully the bishop, would know what they were dealing with.

    There is one and only one justification for either of these two retelling of the gospel stories — a fundamental belief that miracles do not happen. And the only way to be sure of that is if there really is no God to perform the miracles.

  3. Barbara Edsall

    Greetings, Steve and all! I am very thankful that as a convert-in-progress I live in a tiny rural town and go to a small Catholic Church with a wonderful old Irish priest, hence have not had to hear any such homilies. What strikes me about these heresies is the rejection of the Divine and the elevation of the human. What a shame, when Catholicism is so wonderfully full of the Divine, without compromise. Well, God’s holy will is being done, and the gates of hell will NOT prevail against his Church.

  4. Roberto Catanghal

    The reading for the 17 Sunday of Ordinary Time (26 July) is John 6:1-15 (mulitplication of the loaves). I come across a reflection about this Gospel from The Holy Cross Family Ministries’ soul Surf reflection. Part of the reflection reads: “But there’s a second lesson offered by today’s gospel that seems especially relevant for us 21st century Christians who already have a seeming abundance. This lesson is situated within another kind of miracle, perhaps even more astonishing than Jesus feeding 5,000 from a few loaves and fish. The miracle is this: Jesus opens our eyes to wealth hitherto unappreciated, to the plenty already in our laps.” read the whole reflection at

  5. Chad Myers


    This raises a good question:

    At what point is it OK to stand up when heresy is being preached from the pulpit?

    This case seems rather borderline. I have heard some other whoppers from the pulpit that are far worse than this — some concerning core doctrines of the faith.

    I almost stood up at one, but chickened out. No more, I’m thinking. My wife’s concern is with the sanctity of the Mass, but as far as I’m concerned, that flew out the window when grave heresy was preached from the pulpit.

  6. Tony Previty

    If the food was brought by the 5,000, why would Our Lord have the remnants collected for the poor. It was their food not Our Lord’s.

    Also I don’t think Our Lord created additional fish and loaves but the 5,000 ate the original loaves and fishes to illustrate that in the reception of Communion there are many hosts but each person receives the same Christ.

  7. Amy

    How funny, that is the EXACT homily I heard today! My eyes rolled uncontrollably. Yes, those 5000 men were ALL a bunch of horders, until the Lord showed them how to share what they ALREADY had in abundance. And so we should share too.

    Not a peep about this being a prefiguring of the Eucharist, I am so sorry to say.


  8. Salome Bintullah

    Well, on Corpus Christi this year, we got a visiting priest who was a socialist. He started out by praising Obama, then moved on to all but denying the Real Presence, focusing his whole homily on how the whole of humanity is the body of Christ, how this body is the only really important one, and how we are obliged to spend every waking moment taking care of the other members of this body. Hardly one word about the Eucharist except to downplay it as not all that important. I was steaming by the time Mass was done.

  9. Richard

    I had a Bad feeling come over me when I heard someone say, ” the real miracle was sharing…..” I know I could find something online regarding this. Thanks

  10. Francis

    Read the article. Just surprised the priest sated that it was not a miracle. Could have said that it was a miracle and add on his experience with the people. Noted Papa Benedict’s teaching on the miracle, found this on the internet ” Earlier, before reciting the ‘Angelus’ prayer, Pope Benedict reflected on Sunday’s Gospel in which St. John recounted Jesus’ miracle of the multiplication of 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed five thousand people. “The miracle,” the Pope observed, “did not come from nothing but from an ordinary boy’s desire to share what he had.” Jesus does not ask us what we do not have, but shows us that if each of us offers what little we have, a miracle can always take place again. God is able to multiply every one of our small deeds of love and make us share in his gift. “Strengthened by that sacrifice, may we always work for the spiritual nourishment of our brethren, not forgetting the poor and needy,” the Pope urged. However, the miracle is primarily a sign of God’s immeasurable providence in the Eucharist. Christ nourishes us by uniting us to Himself; he draws us into Himself. Jesus is not an earthly king who rules, but a king who serves, who bends to man’s level to meet not only his material hunger, but the deeper one, the one for God. “At the same time,” the Pope urged, “we want to pray that no one may lack the necessary bread for a life of dignity, and that all inequalities be removed, not through the weapons of violence, but through sharing and love.”

  11. Rob Murphy

    Maybe Jesus didn’t turn water into wine after all! Maybe the real miracle at the wedding feast of Cana was that Jesus got a bunch of heavy drinking partiers to loosen up and pitch in their hidden bottles into the jugs, and the waiters thought they were pouring in water!

  12. Reynald Perez

    Well it's Corpus Christi Year C today, and the Gospel is about the Feeding of the Five Thousand. For sure there are those who will only focus on the sharing aspect, but have forgotten about the multiplying aspect of the Gospel.

    STEVE RAY HERE: Actually, there is no sharing aspect in the passages. The words never used nor implied. The whole aspect is about the miracle and Jesus giving us miraculous bread from heaven which foreshadows his body and blood.

  13. Leslie

    And then there was the Epistle today, from 1 Corinthians 11. And as usual the reading is truncated from what it is in the old readings, and leaves out “27Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. 28But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice. 29For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. ”

    With a disgracefully small percentage of Catholics believing in the Real Presence (and yet receiving Communion), why on *earth* would that part be left out?

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