Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ratzinger - On the Feeding of the Five Thousand

I've never thought of this before, but the erstwhile head of the CDF tells us that the feeding of the five thousand is a miracle with Eucharistic significance.
One on hand [sic], we have the facts; on the other, a deeper dimension of symbolism in this story. People expected that in the messianic age the miracle of the manna would be repeated. The Messiah, so they believed, would prove his identity in that everyone would have enough to eat and bread would once more come down from heaven.

Jesus' intention is to transfer this manna miracle onto a different plane. And to do it with the Eucharist. With the bread in which he gives himself, and in which accordingly the multiplication of loaves takes place henceforth throughout history, down to our own day. He can, in a certain sense, be shared with others to an infinite extent (God and the World, p. 246f).
If five loaves and two fish can be miraculously multiplied so that they feed five thousand, it is no more miraculous that Christ can give us His Body and Blood throughout history. Amen!

2 comments:

EgoMakarios said...

So how do the fishes fit into the Eucharist? Do Catholics have fish in the Eucharist? And if this was a Catholic-style Eucharist that the 5000 were participating in, how comes it not that we find them bowing down and worshiping the bread (and possibly the fishes)?

Reginald de Piperno said...

Your comment seems to be all about things that neither he nor I said.

I didn't say that it was the Eucharist. Nor did I say that it was a perfect typological representation of the Eucharist. Cardinal Ratzinger said no such things either. Nor am I saying that it was a "Catholic-style Eucharist," and neither did he.