I remember going to see a Jesus movie when I was young. There are two scenes I distinctly remember from the movie: the Crucifixion which really upset me and I climbed into my mom's lap crying and asked, "Why are they hurting Jesus? Why are they killing him?" The second scene I remember was the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. I was about 4 years old when I saw the movie and what stood out for me was that Jesus prayed and miracles happened. It was that simple; because Jesus is God he can do anything. I carried that with me for a long time...and then I went to college.
Today's Gospel reading is the opening of John 6 (verses 1-15). If you've never read chapter 6 from John's Gospel, do it now. The chapter begins with the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. In college, a professor was flabbergasted that I actually believed in miracles. This prof continued to grill me about whether or not I was a biblical literalist. I'm not, but I said, "When it comes to Jesus, if it's in there, I think it happened just as it's written." Well, I might as well have stamped CRAZY on my forehead!
The prof then said, "Jesus created a situation in which people learned to share. There was no miracle. What happened was that people who had food shared with the people who didn't have food."
I realized this person had an agenda and trying to defend myself would have been futile. I smiled and said, "Interesting. The miracle version is cooler." Then I walked away before the prof could lower my grade.
What I really wanted to say was: "Really? Why would the Gospel writers make sure to record this story multiple times? What's so great about sharing? Heck, I learned that in kindergarten! Are you telling me that people didn't know how to share until Jesus showed them? You've got to be kidding me!"
This is what happens when Jesus is stripped of his divinity and made into a man. When Jesus is ONLY a man, then it's just a story about sharing. When Jesus is ONLY a man, then there isn't God. When Jesus is ONLY a man, then you are up a creek without a paddle when life gets hard.
No! No! NO! Jesus preformed a miracle, in fact, he preformed many miracles. These miracles still happen today through the work of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of the Saints. Want to see a really cool miracle this weekend? Go to Mass and see what happens on the altar - little round wafers become the actually Body and Blood of Christ.
I know a crazy miracle that probably really irked my prof: the Resurrection.
HAPPY 2nd WEEK OF EASTER!!!