All posts tagged: Miracles

Can You Square the Feeding of the 5,000 with Science?

We read the story of the feeding of the five thousand in all four Gospels. In John’s Gospel, it is immediately followed by the Bread of Life Discourse, in which Jesus lays out clearly the doctrine of the Eucharist. His teaching is quite clear: “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink” (John 6: 53-55). From the reaction of the disciples (“This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” [6:60]) and Jesus’s response to them (“Does this offend you?” [6:61]), we know that Jesus means what he says—otherwise his teaching would not be so hard to accept. The placement of the feeding of the five thousand in all four Gospels, and directly before the Bread of Life Discourse in John’s Gospel, suggests that there …

A Desert Becomes a Forest

“We must not be afraid to go into the desert and to transform it into a forest!” With these words Pope Francis challenged hundreds of people gathered on April 24, 2016 for the “Village of the Earth” event which was promoted by the Focolare Movement and Earth Day Italy. During his surprise visit that lasted more than an hour, the Holy Father drew attention to “the many deserts in the cities.” Recalling his own experiences from Argentina, he noted that these deserts are located in the gated neighborhoods, in prisons, and wherever people live in subhuman conditions. Most deplorably, the pontiff observed, we find such deserts in every human heart! In a famous little book on modern education, The Abolition of Man, the English Christian apologist C. S. Lewis wrote on the same theme and even used the same metaphor and imagery that Pope Francis employed of transforming a desert into a verdant landscape. Desert experiences are ugly, and we avoid them when we can. Yet, the Bishop of Rome emphasized, “We must not be …