Living with the Gospel: Where does the miracle occur?

…but you’ve kept the good wine until now! (Jn 2,10)

After the wedding feast, when the servants cleaned up, did was wine left over that had to be poured away? Is such an idea too literal? But does a purely symbolic interpretation take the gospel seriously enough?

Behind these questions is the separation into an objective world outside of us and a subjective world merely imagined by us. At the latest with the advent of quantum physics, this separation has to be seen as a construct and abandoned: My seeing, my recognising, constitutes the reality that I experience.

The Gospel text contains a key to this: What the master of the feast drinks is (for him, i.e. really) wine; what the servants drew was (for them, just as really) water. For the master of the feast, the water that has become wine is stronger than any other wine. The reality that we experience through our co-creation makes a deep impression. Did the master of the feast perhaps suspect that this wine was not the result of the natural miracle of the transformation of water into grape juice, but of the action of the one who called himself the true vine, who sparked in him the power of inner transformation?

And how is with the communion? The Eucharistic Miracles seek to prove that after the transubstantiation we are really dealing with flesh and blood. Does the rejection of such narratives mean that transubstantiation is only a symbol? Or is it precisely there that we need to leave space for the interaction of the human and divine spirit? Even at the first supper after the resurrection, in Emmaus, it is important that the disciples do not recognise Christ until he breaks bread and they eat it. Did the other guests in the inn notice anything special about this bread?

Tom Ravetz

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