He didn't go so far as to fully subvert the miracle. That is, he didn't say that it was a "miracle of sharing" where people's hearts were moved to share what they had rather than hording it for themselves–a repudiation of the physical miracle that occurred.
But he seemed to be skirting the edge of that idea, without saying anything that would explicity mandate this interpretation.
What he did do was emphasize the idea of sharing, and particularly the generosity of the little boy with the five loaves and two fishes.
This Sunday there was a new priest, and he did the same thing. He didn't spend as much time on feeding (that was last week's reading, natch), but he did stress the generosity of the little boy sharing his lunch.
He also misinterpreted the loaves as probably like rolls instead of probably like pitas or tortillas in form, though we can let that pass.
What I find annoying is all the confident talk about how the miracle occurred because the little boy was selflessly willing to share his lunch.
Not only does that make it sound like God's omnipotence would have been hamstrung if the little boy had said no, and thus giving the little boy's action way too much credit in an ontological sense, it's also giving the little boy undeserved credit in the generosity department.
First of all, who says this was the little boy's lunch–or dinner for that matter?
Five loaves of bread, even if they aren't as big as what you'd buy in a modern supermarket, and two fish, even if they're relatively small, is way too much food for a little boy in that time and culture to have for a single meal. It was too much for a full grown adult to have for a single meal. (When was the last time you had five pitas and two fish for lunch?)
Of course, the boy might have brought food for more than one meal, not knowing how long he'd be at the event, but is there another, better explanation that might be suggested by the text?
Let's look at it. Here is the text in the squishy NAB (so there can be no argument I'm pulling something out of the text that shouldn't have been obvious to the priests just from reading the lectionary version):
When Jesus raised his eyes
and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip,
“Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
“Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?”
This isn't exegetical rocket science.
The topic that Our Lord has introduced is where can they buy enough food for the crowd, not how they can get people to share or how they can find somebody who has a little bit of food to share. The topic is buying food.
If you look at the Greek, the verb is agorazo, which means things like "attend market," "do business," "buy or sell," etc. It's a specifically commercial, marketplace term, not a more general one like "get" or "find." So the NAB gets it right with rendering it "buy."
The theme of buying is thus carried on in the conversation, with Philip and Andrew pointing out problems for the proposal.
First, Philip points out the huge expense of feeding the crowd–presumably because the disciples don't have that much money in the purse.
Andrew then carries the theme forward by pointing out a source where food can be bought–the little boy–but that the source doesn't have enough food for the crowd. (Incidentally, he may have started with more but have already sold the rest of what he had.)
It makes much more sense, given the context and the flow of the conversation, to see the little boy not as a local who happened to pack an extraordinarily large amount of food for him to eat at the day's event but as an enterprising young salesman who brought food to where he knew there would be a lot of people spending the day and he could sell it.
Like the kids who swarm over Israel's holy sites to this day trying to sell trinkets or snacks or bottled water to the pilgrims who have shown up for religious reasons.
Jesus' crowds were bound to attract such kids, and Andrew happened to spot one.
Presumably, then, before the miracle of the feeding the disciples paid the little boy for his five loaves and two fishes.
That's not a dead certainty. Of course, I'm sure that they didn't steal them from the little boy, and while it's possible that he was overcome by religious feeling and simply donated them (or decided not to charge once he saw them being multiplied), given that his interest in bringing them to the site was probably commercial, it's not unreasonable to infer that he was paid for them.
We're not told one way or the other, but given the clear buying and selling theme in the text, preachers ought not be rhapsodizing about the generosity of the little boy or how he was willing to share with others or how without his act of sharing the miracle might not have occurred.
If anything, the miracle might have had to start with another source of food if the little boy hadn't been paid for his wares.
Of course, the above doesn't amount to a proof. It could be that the little boy had brought a surprisingly large amount of food for himself and then, for unknown reasons, mentioned this to Andrew and then generously shared it with Jesus and the disciples.
But this isn't the way the text reads.
And it's just annoying when preachers get so wrapped up in a sickly sweet, Hallmark card spirituality that they go off rhapsodizing about human sharing and generosity in a way that flies in the face of the text.
The point here is that God did a miracle through Jesus, not that a little boy was generous.
UPDATE: MORE FROM STEVE RAY.