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Dan C. wrote:

Hi, guys —

In today's Gospel reading we heard the story of where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
In the homily that followed, our priest mentioned that:

This is the miracle that got Christ killed and that all the other miracles could be explained.

  • Is this the teaching of the Catholic Church?

I struggle with his homily each year when it comes to the multiplying of the fish and bread.

He says Christ didn't really multiply the fish and bread rather he says the people, upon seeing the disciples in trouble, shared their food; that was the miracle.

Dan

  { Is what my priest saying about miracles and the multiplying of the fish and bread correct? }

Mike replied:

Dear Dan,

It appears you have a priest that is not faithful to the basics of the Christian faith.
I would definitely make your local bishop aware of what he is saying from the pulpit.

This should be corrected and you have an obligation to say something:

  • to the priest first, then if he doesn't change his homilies
  • to the local bishop.

All of Jesus' miracles were real miracles and none of them can be explained away as not being miracles.

Also, none of us know for sure whether a specific miracle caused Jesus' death.
The Early Church Fathers said nothing to my knowledge on this issue.

From the Catechism:

156 What moves us to believe is not the fact that revealed truths appear as true and intelligible in the light of our natural reason: we believe "because of the authority of God himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived". So "that the submission of our faith might nevertheless be in accordance with reason, God willed that external proofs of his Revelation should be joined to the internal helps of the Holy Spirit." Thus the miracles of Christ and the saints, prophecies, the Church's growth and holiness, and her fruitfulness and stability "are the most certain signs of divine Revelation, adapted to the intelligence of all"; they are "motives of credibility" (motiva credibilitatis), which show that the assent of faith is "by no means a blind impulse of the mind".
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468 After the Council of Chalcedon, some made of Christ's human nature a kind of personal subject. Against them, the fifth ecumenical council, at Constantinople in 553, confessed that "there is but one hypostasis [or person], which is our Lord Jesus Christ, one of the Trinity." Thus everything in Christ's human nature is to be attributed to his divine person as its proper subject, not only his miracles but also his sufferings and even his death: "He who was crucified in the flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ, is true God, Lord of glory, and one of the Holy Trinity."
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515 The Gospels were written by men who were among the first to have the faith and wanted to share it with others. Having known in faith who Jesus is, they could see and make others see the traces of his mystery in all his earthly life. From the swaddling clothes of his birth to the vinegar of his Passion and the shroud of his Resurrection, everything in Jesus' life was a sign of his mystery. His deeds, miracles and words all revealed that "in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily." His humanity appeared as "sacrament", that is, the sign and instrument, of his divinity and of the salvation he brings: what was visible in his earthly life leads to the invisible mystery of his divine sonship and redemptive mission.

561 "The whole of Christ's life was a continual teaching: his silences, his miracles, his gestures, his prayer, his love for people, his special affection for the little and the poor, his acceptance of the total sacrifice on the Cross for the redemption of the world, and his Resurrection are the actualization of his word and the fulfillment of Revelation"

Blessed John Paul II, Catechesi tradendae 9

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1335 The miracles of the multiplication of the loaves, when the Lord says the blessing, breaks and distributes the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, prefigure the superabundance of this unique bread of his Eucharist.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Dan replied:

Mike,

Thank you for the response.

I didn't think what he said was correct and neither did my teenage daughter, who gave me the look during his homily. She's currently attending a Catholic High School.

I'll be sending a letter to the Bishop.

Thank you again.

Dan

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