The Body of Christ is just Symbolic

Dear Rex,
It looks like you put a lot of time and effort into your comment on my Post Why Can’t Protestants Take Communion In a Catholic Church? . First I would like to take a look at

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him…. 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? …66From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Those who left Jesus are the same ones who said, “How can he give us his flesh to eat”. v. 52

It is the unbelievers who cannot accept the hard saying of Jesus that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life. That is what He said.

The attempt to make the plain words of Jesus, saying seven times that we must literally eat, gnaw on His flesh and drink His blood, in order have eternal life, symbolic and to nullify them with the verse:

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Proves too much. It just does not work for two reasons:
1)Spiritual realities are REAL they are NOT in any way, shape, or form symbolic. The flesh of Christ IS His Spirital/physical BODY.

2)When this verse is used to explain away the literal interpretation of Jesus’s words it may at first be a comfort to Protestants. But, it cannot be accurate because if one says that the “flesh profits nothing” but ONLY the Spirit gives life then what about the death of Jesus in His flesh?

So, trying to say all of the talk about flesh and blood was just symbolic has ABSOLUTELY NO BASIS IN SCRIPTURE. The basis for the Protestant belief that communion is mere symbolism resides nowhere in Sacred Scripture.

It is nothing more than an attempt to explain away the explicit and LITERAL meaning of Jesus’s words in John 6 and in the other Gospels when He says, “This is my body. This is my blood.”

The Catholic understanding of all of these verses makes cohesive sense of scripture and rejoices the heart and mind in its simplicity and sublimity.
You might also find these posts interesting:

Communion: Symbol Only
Bread From Heaven is Symbolic
Open Commuion Debate

5 Responses to The Body of Christ is just Symbolic

  1. Stephen says:

    Great post, also may I add that in 1Cor:11:27 inspired St.Paul tells us “Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.”

    If the Eucharist is just a symbol ( as our Protestant bretren claim ) then how can we be guilty of profaning a symbol?

    Pax Christi
    Stephen <3

  2. Constantine says:

    Hi bfhu,

    I understand how important the doctrine of transubstantiation is to Catholics, but there is no biblical support for it. In fact, the opposite is true. Transubstantiation actually contradicts the Scriptures.

    Psalm 16:10 says that Christ’s body will never see decay yet transubstantiation necessitates decay at the very moment of consecration. (And the digestive process of everyone who partakes of the Eucharist only serves to further aggravate that situation.) The Apostle Paul affirmed Psalm 16 three times in the Book of Acts and Peter – your first pope did so twice. So not only is there no biblical support for the doctrine, it actually contradicts the Scriptures as taught by Paul and Peter – your first pope.

    Don’t you find it ironic to use John’s Gospel – the only one without the Last Supper – as support for the Eucharist? It seems the others would be much better examples. And to read John’s gospel the way you do requires us to believe that Jesus was a literal physical building (2:19), a light (8:12), a door (10:9), a shepherd (10:11) and a grapevine (15:1), which is silly. Reading just a little further in the Gospel reveals that Christ tells us that the time of His plain speaking was still in the future (16:25). Why would He say that if He wanted chapter 6 to be read so literalistically? It just doesn’t make any sense.

    Much, much more could be said. For example, “take and eat” was a familiar Jewish idiom, transubstantiation violates the prohibition against taking blood, it violates conciliar history with regard to the nature of Christ, and it is completely unnecessary for salvation. Maybe we can talk about those next time.


  3. J.R. Hochstedt says:

    God’s ‘one time’ is eternal, and every mass is the exact same offering, one single endless offering, spread throughout Time at every altar.

    Denying that the Host is Christ’s body is denying Christ.

  4. J.R. Hochstedt says:

    ‘Always learning & never coming to the truth’ perfectly describes the Protestant abuse of their truncated Bible, like their fathers the Pharisees, slicing & dicing & parsing out each morsel of scripture, but never capable of holding onto the whole, and relying constantly on new theories and new variations of theories. Their faith does not rest on scripture but on their own finite capacities for interpreting scripture & they confine the scriptures to their human capacities.

  5. katewacker says:

    I totally agree to take and splice out a simple word like grapevine or door is silly. It is important to note the reaction of the disciples in John 6 because it illustrates that this teaching was not figurative.

    If Jesus was speaking figuratively why would he allow his faithful disciples to walk away. Why wouldn’t he tap them on the shoulder and remind them he was speaking figuratively and not to leave. He doesn’t he allows them to leave.

    Hence, meaning what he had proclaimed was in fact literal. Christ rarely appeased those who opposed his message. When people argued with him about eating with tax collectors and sinners, he likened himself to a physician. No one walked away at this point and called him a liar because he was a known carpenter. It is important to take into account the entire story to truly understand what Christ was proclaiming.

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