Her Doctrine and Morals

Fourth Sunday in Lent

22 March 2020


The Sunday


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The Sunday Sermon Archive

Dear Friend,

Today's Gospel relates the multiplication of loaves and fishes. Our Lord could very well have made bread from nothing, but He chose rather to multiply or increase what already existed. The Fathers of the Church indicate to us that the five barley loaves represent the five books of Moses. The miracle recorded for today represents to us that Jesus opened the books of Moses. He expanded or multiplied them until they were fulfilled or were made complete. What was hidden in the Law of Moses was not able to feed the souls of the multitude until Jesus came. It is only with the help of Jesus that our hearts and souls are truly fed from the Books of Moses in the Old Testament.

After everyone had eaten the Apostles were instructed to gather up the fragments that were left over, and they found that there were twelve baskets full remaining. We see in this a correlation with the twelve tribes of Israel, as well as in the number of Apostles. It is through the Apostles that Jesus fed the multitude, and it is in the Apostles that all that the multitude was unable to eat was preserved or saved. There is much more to the scriptures than we can ever understand or consume. All that is above and beyond our present need is gathered and held in the hands of the Apostles and their legitimate successors.

The spiritual treasures that Jesus has given us are preserved in the Church — The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. We find in Her enough spiritual food to fill us with much that is left over. What we cannot consume is not wasted but is preserved for those who are able to digest more or greater spiritual things. The spiritual treasures held in the Church are enough to fill us many times over — they are truly infinite because the Church is the Bride of Christ — His Mystical Body.

Gluttonous men often attempt to eat more than they can digest. Foolish men often attempt to rationalize or understand more than they are capable of. The food that one cannot eat should be preserved for another who may be able to truly digest it. The mysteries of the faith that are more than one man may take in should not be destroyed but should rather be preserved for another who may be able to truly benefit from them. Heretics are notorious for deleting and casting out everything that is above or beyond them. What they cannot understand they refuse to believe, and they will not preserve for anyone else to believe. They appear to try and define Jesus in their own terms and within the limits of their own hearts and minds. In the Act of Faith, every Catholic professes belief in all the Truths that God has given to His Church. We believe in things that we may not have even heard of because God has revealed them. Just because it is more than we know or can digest does not mean that they are to be rejected or discarded.

If we wish to hear and understand Jesus it is through the true and legitimate successors of the Apostles that we must turn. In them has been entrusted, not the power to multiply and expand, but rather the authority to distribute what Jesus has multiplied and expanded. It is God Who gives all graces, it is through His Church that He presents them to us. We must not reject the food of our souls because it is presented from the hands of men. The best or the greatest of men are all unworthy to distribute the wisdom, graces, and goodness of God. We need to strive to look beyond the human hands to perceive that it is the Hand of God that is feeding us.

The Church is made up of sinful or unworthy men, but the truths and treasures preserved in their hands are truly divine. These are not the truths or treasures made by man, but are the Truths and Treasures made by God — only presented to us through the human ministry.

Those who reject the legitimate successors of the Apostles because they are men, reject and turn away from God Himself — the Spiritual Food that God gives us through them. It is not the human priest who transforms bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. This is the work of God. The priest is merely the instrument that God uses. Transubstantiation is not magic or trickery of men but is rather a miracle of God. We must eat of the food that God gives us if we wish to live. "Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you will not have life in you." (St. John 6:54) This Sacramental food is only kept in the true Church and is only presented to us through the hands of the Apostles or those appointed by them.

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