Monday, December 23, 2013

When is a parable not a parable?

When it's a historical documentation of something that really happened. Something we usually call "the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes" or sometimes the "feeding of the 5000". Something that didn't have anything to do with "sharing". [Hint: it was a prefigurement of something... something important...]

(1:56) "The parable of the loaves and fishes teaches us exactly this; that if there is a will, what we have never ends."

Err... what?

Slip of the tongue, perhaps?

No, it's a reading from a prepared text that someone, presumably someone Catholic, has written and proofed.

This "loaves n'fishes = sharing n'caring" business is one old, wrinkly dried up chestnut from the apostates...err... I mean "liberal Catholics", intended to desacralise the Faith, deny the existence of miracles and possibly even reduce Christ Himself to a kind of humanistic mind-reader. This notion was first invented by a German Protestant named Rudolph Bultmann (1884-1976) who popularized it in order to deny the reality of miracles as supernatural events and ultimately the Divine nature of Christ.

Here it is described by someone on Catholic Answers, not exactly a bastion of "crypto-lefabvrianism".

One Sunday I visited a parish in another city and learned something new. The multiplication of loaves didn’t really happen. The greedy people following Jesus in the wilderness had loaves and fishes stuffed up under their robes. The disciples didn’t know about this surplus of hidden food, but this parish priest did!

Although the priest said he was taught in seminary that Jesus kept pulling bread and fish out of the basket, he learned the real truth from the natives in Mexico. They taught him that the Gospel writers misunderstood what really happened. What really happened is that Jesus preached to the crowd about caring and sharing and they responded by bringing out food from under their robes that they had been hiding from each other. Once everyone learned how to share, there was plenty for everyone with twelve basketfuls left over.

Sound familiar?

"Psst... Holy Father, real Catholics believe that was a real miracle, and always have."



DP said...

"The real miracle is that Jesus somehow got *Jews* to share! Pretty hard to do, amirite?"

Good Lord, the awfulness of that interpretation is a horror, even if it makes a solid platform for bleak comedy.

BillyHW said...

I prefer my popes to be smarter than I am.

Anonymous said...

There's no way I'm stuffing fishes under my robes. Eewww.


Unknown said...

That is bosh, but I don't believe Bultmann invented the story, but it's been around since the time of the Enlightenment. I was told it was Voltaire who started that line.

Felix said...

My submission for Pun of the Year:

The Pope has told us that the Church's real problem is self-absorbed promethean neopelagians, people who say Novenas and keep track of how many Rosaries they've said.

I guess they're the people who count.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Bwaa hahahahaa.. good one.

Anonymous said...

We are still left with the CS Lewis question: who is Christ? Liar, lunatic, or Lord?

Why bother worshipping someone whose "miracle" was getting people to share and sing Kumbaya? I could spend my Sundays petting my cat instead.


Tom Ryan said...

Getting Jews to share is a miracle! Maybe His Holiness will abandon this interpretation if we tell him it is anti-Semitic? Saying it's heretical will get us no where