Goofey Homily on Multiplication of Loaves?

by Steve Ray on February 20, 2011

Loaves fishes tilapia002UPDATE: Based on the comments below and the on my Facebook account ( a lot of people heard this goofey homily — are are doing something about it!.

If you heard a goofy homily this weekend about the multiplication of loaves and fish — a trendy priest or deacon saying it was no miracle, Jesus just taught selfish people to share the food they had with them — click here.

Check out Jimmy Akin’s brilliant new blog on this.

My book Crossing the Tiber deals with this and the Eucharist in detail. Click here.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Patrick July 26, 2009 at 8:00 AM

How very…antiquated.

Seriously, that old saw was getting dull since at least the early 80’s in Milwaukee, so it’s been around since probably the late 50’s in the less faithful seminaries. Nothing like that old school Liberation Theology.

Of course we all know that Liberation Theologists has no time for miracles, as they are too busy trying to change the Bride of Christ into an atheistic group of communist social workers. In reality, the dirt will take them too, and considering their age (by mean, median, or mode), that won’t be very long.

Jeff Hendrix July 26, 2009 at 4:47 PM

It dovetails nicely with the on-going Enlightenment project – now so in vogue with the current Administration. I believe Eric Voegelin called it attempting to “immanentize the eschaton.”

It might also be called Romantic Gnostic humanism: if we can imagine something really, really nice, we can forget all that Doctrine of Original Sin stuff and get on with making our utopia. Who needs God anyway? Etc., etc.

See how well it worked with Stalin, and other humanist projects in the 20th century…

Peter Hart July 26, 2009 at 6:05 PM

Hans Urs von Balthasar had it exactly right when he wrote: “What, pray tell, is the attitude the Christian is supposed to take during a homily that enlightens him as to the fact that Incarnation, Cross, resurrection, aascension, Pentecost are nothing but mythical-metaphorical ways of clothing the message, permitted in the past by God in view of the times, whereas today they are to be replaced by quite different modes of expression? I ask the bishops: Is the hearer of such a homily dispensed from Mass? May he, ought he perhaps leave this liturgy?” I have heard the same explanation of the “loaves and fishes”; in a diaconate program, sadly. I, too, thought we had outgrown such childish fantasies.

Pete July 27, 2009 at 6:24 AM

The “sharing” homily is alive and well and I got to hear it yesterday. My ex-Catholic wife attended mass with me. Once out the door she averred: “That’s why I left the Catholic Church.” It’s hard to blame her.


Barbara July 27, 2009 at 9:12 AM

My priest first made the connection between Elisha multiplying the barley loaves, and how that, and Jesus multiplying the loaves, both point to the Eucharist. He also mentioned that in John’s account, he specifically mentions that the loaves that Jesus multiplied were barley loaves, the same as Elisha, making it clear to the reader, that Elisha (along with Moses, Daveid, etc.) prefigured Christ. He’s an excellent homilist.

Joseph July 27, 2009 at 7:38 PM

I first heard this around 1954 as a comment of Al Capp, creator of L’il Abner, to explain this multiplication. As I recall, Al did not have a Doctorate in Sacred Scripture.

Barbara Billstrand August 4, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Thanks for the article. We heard this from a nun who spoke. I found these nun’s web site and sent them your article right after I told them how damaging this heresy is. Our priest printed an apology in this week concerning this, but I somehow wish he had said something right after she spoke. . .

brad August 11, 2009 at 1:08 AM


A few quick questions:

1) Why are some Catholic priests taking a metaphorical interpretation of the multiplication story while others are taking a literal interpretation? Shouldn’t they be united in their teaching under Rome?

2) How can you be sure that your literal interpretation of the story is correct and the metaphorical interpretation is not? Has the Catholic church infallibly defined which interpretation is correct?

3) If I told you that I went to a Protestant church and heard the “sharing” sermon, how would you respond? Would you cite this as proof of the flaws in sola scriptura?


Anne Sheeran February 22, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Dear Lisa Juriga, Thank you for giving Jim the website for your journey. Although we cannot bring up the website on our school computers, I am watching the pilgrimage videos on my home computer. What a great spiritual experience you must be having! Makes me want to be there with all of you. What a journey to take. I have seen you in some of the videos. You look like you are enjoying your time in the Holy Land. I will keep all those on the pilgrimage in my thoughts and prayers, and I wish you a fulfilling trip and a safe passage home. May you feel the Lord on each of the days as you visit the most holy of sites. Sincerely, Anne Sheeran

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