2nd August

Today’s gospel is the Feeding of the 5000 from Matthew’s gospel. There is a distinguished school of scholarship that would say the real miracle here is not that the loaves and the fish really went round so many people, but that the miracle was that the crowd actually shared the food they had among each other. Miracles are a problem for a lot of people. Some theologians have been through the gospels and removed any aspect of them, or any event that might have a sacramental application, because they feel they do not match with reason. Others have interpreted them in a way that avoids any suggestion that something other-worldly might be happening, possibly out of fear that they could be seen as magic. But the question is, how much do we believe in the power of God, of Jesus, in this world. Do we live in a world that is completely separate from the divine, or do we believe that the divine is intrinsically involved now with us? Do we think the Kingdom of Heaven is only what happens after death or is it happening here among us now? Surely Jesus presence here and that of the Holy Spirit is to reveal to us that God is acting now with, through and around us. If that is the case then we do not need to doubt that God’s power will and can and does do extraordinary things. The Mass is a miracle. Miracles can be seen through healing too, and in other ways. To rationalise away everything is to lose so much of the wonder that God has to offer us.

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