Sunday’s Gospel (John) showed Jesus feeding the 5,000 with 5 loves and 2 fishes. The miracle of multiplication spoke to Jesus’ divinity and love in some homilies. In other homilies, the miracle showed us God’s view of works of mercy, like feeding the hungry.
But some of us got a very different homily. Jesus’ act of divinity became a “miracle of sharing.” With Jesus teaching people to share the food that they had been hiding, for 3 days in the desert.
Forget the lack of any historical or cultural evidence that 1st century Jews were opposed to sharing. Ignore the slander of a people who held hospitality as a sacred obligation. The plain language of the Gospel offers no support for this.
So why would any priest or deacon offer such a mangling of the Gospel? Fear. Of God.
God is good beyond all telling. But a God who does things like this is anything but safe. And sometimes (just like us) they get overwhelmed. They react to that fear by trying to reduce God down to something safe. Something controllable. Something that isn’t God.
Pray for our priests and deacons, and for each other, that God will give each of us faith bigger than our fear.