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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:
The Works of John Cassian.: Chapter I. From the miracle of the feeding of the multitude from five barley loaves and two fishes he shows the majesty of Divine Power.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter I.

From the miracle of the feeding of the multitude from five barley loaves and two fishes he shows the majesty of Divine Power.

We read in the gospel that when five loaves were at the Lord’s bidding brought to Him an immense number of God’s people were fed with them. But how this was done it is impossible to explain, or to understand or to imagine. So great and so incomprehensible is the might of Divine Power, that though we are perfectly assured of the fact, yet we are unable to understand the manner of the fact. For first one would have to comprehend how so small a number of loaves could be sufficient, I will not say for them to eat and be filled, but even to be divided and set before them, when there were many more thousands of men than there were loaves; and almost more companies than there could be fragments of the whole number of loaves. The plentiful supply then was the creation of the word of the Lord. The work grew in the doing of it. And though what was visible was but little; yet what was given to them became more than could be reckoned. There is then no room for conjecture, for human speculation, or imagination. The only thing in such a case is that like faithful and wise men we should acknowledge that, however great and incomprehensible are the things which are done by God, even if they are altogether beyond our comprehension, we must recognize that nothing is impossible with God. But of these unspeakable acts of Divine Power, we will, as the subject demands it, speaks more fully later on, because it exactly corresponds to the ineffable miracles of His Holy Nativity.


Next: Chapter II. The author adapts the mystery of the number seven (made up of the five loaves and two fishes) to his own work.

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