Probably one of my favourite book of the Bible is John 6. I love it because it is so explicit about the Eucharist being the Flesh and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. If you have questions about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, or why you need to partake in this sacrament in order to be saved, you should read this article. I am analyzing all of John 6 (verses 1-72), to provide the context of the texts. The translation used is Douay-Rheims. Okay, I’ll dive right in, and I hope you will learn something! If you want to get the most out of this, start by reading John 6.
The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible says that “The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves is the only miracle apart from the Resurrection, that is recorded in all four Gospels.” It also says that “The two food miracles in John involve bread and wine“. John writes in a way that is radically different from the other evangelists, he focuses a lot of the love story between Christ and us. He is the disciple of love, and he really brings that aspect of Jesus in his Gospel. The feeding of the 5,000 looks back to Moses, the Manna, and Elisha (2 Kings 4:42-44), and connects all of that to the New Covenant.
After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias.
In the first verse learn about the location. Yet there is a hidden meaning, that those familiar with the Old Testament might catch, and who will become clearer as we progress through. Who before Jesus “went over the sea“? It was Moses, when he went over the Red Sea! So here John introduces Jesus as the New Moses! There is a kind of accepted misunderstanding these days that the Israelites were waiting for a king who would lead an uprising and free them. A group called the zealots were waiting for that, but the vast majority of the Jews were waiting for a New Exodus. Since Moses brought the Exodus, the New Moses would bring the New Exodus that would ultimately lead them out of the slavery of sin and into the Heavenly Jerusalem! In this video, Dr Brant Pitre explains this in amazing details!
And a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
Who is that multitude who followed the New Moses? Are they only Israelites by the sea of Galilee, or does it have a greater meaning? As well, do we follow Jesus only because we see miracles, but that once the wonders stop, we cease to believe?
Jesus therefore went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.
Where before has someone gone up a mountain? Again, it was Moses, in Exodus 19. What happened there that can possibly be related to this? Moses went up the mountain with the Israelites to meet God.
Now the Pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand.
The Israelites celebrated the passover by singing psalms, drinking four cups of wine, eating unleavened bread, and by eating the flesh of a sacrificed, first-born, unblemished male lamb. The Jews did that to commemorate the Exodus, their coming out of enslavement in Egypt. This hints that there will be a new passover with Jesus, and a New Exodus that will free the people from the enslavement of sin. Everything in John 6 ultimately points towards the Last Supper and the Passion, it paves the way from the Old to the New Covenant.
When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes, and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to try him; for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him: Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little.
Is Jesus, while lifting His eyes, seeing only the people who are physically there, or is He seeing the bigger picture? As He lifts up his eyes, is it a kind of vision, where He is seeing each one of us who are coming hungry to Him? Phillip is right when he says that it’s not through human intervention that he multitude will be fed. It is only God who is able to provide for the people. He is the only one who will satisfy them.
One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him: There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves, and two fishes; but what are these among so many?
Andrew is called in the Orthodox tradition the first-called, and it is fitting that he is the one who brings them to Jesus. The barley loaves (food for the poor of that time) represent in a very symbolic way the Manna of Moses, and the Eucharist from the New Moses. They are the symbolic link between the Old and the New Covenants. The fish alludes to the quails who fed the Israelites in the desert and to the flesh of Jesus in the Eucharist. The Greek word fish is ICHTHYS, and it is an acronym for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour. The fish is often used to represent Jesus by the first century Christians. It also alludes to the Eucharist being the Body of Christ. As well, Numbers 11:10-15 shows in a symbolic way our need for the Eucharist.
As well, “allegorically, the five loaves are the five books of the Torah, the two fish are the Prophet and Psalms, and the young boy is the Jewish people.” (Ignatius Catholic Study Bible)
Then Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place.
It is springtime, and it supports that passover is near. In addition, Jesus brings the people to a green pasture, it’s a nice symbolism of Jesus the Good Shepherd, found in Psalm 23.
The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would.
The disciples are not yet ready to understand the Last Supper, so Jesus introduces it here, so that when the Last Supper happens, they may be able to look back and understand His words and actions. Given thanks is rendered in Greek as eucharisteo, from which we derive the word Eucharist.
And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost.
Why do Catholics keep the Eucharist in the Tabernacle? First of all, in Exodus 16:33-34 Moses commands that manna be kept in the Tabernacle. Also, in Leviticus 24:1-9 and in 2 Chronicles 4:19, we hear about this sacred bread, also referred to as the Bread of the Presence who was kept in the Tabernacle to signify the presence of God. What is in every Catholic Church? Exactly, a Tabernacle with the Real Presence of Jesus under the appearance of bread. Also, this is why we should gather up any fragments. I personally choose to receive communion on the tongue because there is less chances for those fragments from the host to be lost. If I ever am to receive in the hand, I always double-check to see if there are any particles left. This is God we are talking about, and every particle contains Him in full.
They gathered up therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten.
Here, Jesus is uniting in a way the passover with the feast of the Tabernacles that we see in John 7. This feast is where priests offered a sacrifice of 12 cups of wine and 12 loaves of bread. Jesus will finish uniting this feast with the passover at the Last Supper (or the First) by offering bread and wine, which is His body and blood.
Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth the prophet, that is to come into the world.Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force, and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone.
The people recognize Jesus as the messianic prophet announced by Moses, and in the likeness of Moses. Jesus by fleeing to the mountain shows that His hour has not yet come. He also shows that He will not become a king to bring about a rebellion against the Romans.
And when evening was come, his disciples went down to the sea. And when they had gone up into a ship, they went over the sea to Capharnaum; and it was now dark, and Jesus was not come unto them. And the sea arose, by reason of a great wind that blew.
How often do we feel like this? Our life is dark and we do not see Jesus, we are in the middle of a storm. Yes, we are in the boat of Peter, we are in the Church, yet we are not free from storms.
When they had rowed therefore about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking upon the sea, and drawing nigh to the ship, and they were afraid.
Jesus is revealing who He is, He is not restrained by the physical aspects of nature. If Jesus is able to walk on water, why can’t bread and wine become His Body and Blood if He says so. Are we afraid to believe? Are we afraid to believe in miracles because there’s a storm around us?
But he saith to them: It is I; be not afraid.
Translations may use instead “I am“. With that, Jesus uses the same title that God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. Jesus also says we should not be afraid. Do not be afraid is used often when God reveals Himself to His people, either directly or indirectly through messengers.
They were willing therefore to take him into the ship; and presently the ship was at the land to which they were going. The next day, the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea, saw that there was no other ship there but one, and that Jesus had not entered into the ship with his disciples, but that his disciples were gone away alone. But other ships came in from Tiberias; nigh unto the place where they had eaten the bread, the Lord giving thanks. When therefore the multitude saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they took shipping, and came to Capharnaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him: Rabbi, when camest thou hither?
This might not seem to speak much, yet we can still take a few lesson from those verses. The ship may be a representation of our life, and when we accept Jesus into our boat, we land where we ought to. Also, I find it interesting that the crowd sees only one ship on the lake. It could very well be a reminder of the importance of the unity of the believers in one boat, the boat of Peter. The Creed of Pope Pius IV states “This true Catholic faith, outside of which no one can be saved” and the Athanasian Creed states “Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all, keep the Catholic faith.” This makes it pretty clear that there is only one boat, just like there was one boat during the time of the deluge. The other ships, coming from Tiberias, a city that was built by Herod Antipas in Honour of Tiberias Caesar, could represent the world. Those people do not find Jesus, and they keep on searching. Denominations and people may come close to the truth, yet the Catholic Church is the only which contains the fullness of Truth. Some search their entire lives the truth, only to find it was besides them all along in the local Catholic Church.
Jesus answered them, and said: Amen, amen I say to you, you seek me, not because you have seen miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto life everlasting, which the Son of man will give you.
Are we tempted to follow Jesus only because He does wonders in our lives? The Son of Man will give you life everlasting, this statement is to draw their attention riveted on a merely physical standpoint of food for the body, to a greater understanding of food for the soul. Manna was food that did perish, each day it had to be renewed and each night it would corrupt. It did not bring everlasting life to the people, it simply brought an earthly sustenance. Jesus will quite literally give us of this bread who will satisfy our desires and give us everlasting life.
For him hath God, the Father, sealed.
This is very interesting, it goes back to a prophecy in Daniel 9:20-25, telling of the date of the Christ. Christ is not the last name of Jesus, it simply means the anointed one. Kings were anointed or sealed. I will explain without going in all the details. So, the prophet Daniel had prophesied a number of years (483 to be exact) from the command to rebuild Jerusalem (in 453 B.C.) to the coming of the anointed. If you do the math it falls on the year A.D. 30, or baptism of Jesus, year of His anointing. Now Jesus is actually revealing that this prophecy has been accomplished! Dr. Taylor Marshall actually talks about those dates in details in his book God’s Birthday. He’s actually giving the FREE Book to anyone who subscribes to his blog, which I really recommend by the way!
They said therefore unto him: What shall we do, that we may work the works of God? Jesus answered, and said to them: This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he hath sent.
We must believe in Him whom He has sent. Simple isn’t it? Actually, it’s simpler said then done. If we are to believe what Jesus has said, then we have to actually do what He says. It’s hard to follow Jesus and to brush off what He will say in the following verses.
They said therefore to him: What sign therefore dost thou shew, that we may see, and may believe thee? What dost thou work?
The effect of the multiplication is already vanishing! They do not have enough faith to believe, and their mountaintop experience [quite literally] is fading away.
Our fathers did eat manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
The people are saying that they are waiting for the New Moses. Manna was supernatural in the fact that it miraculously appeared each day. The new bread that is promised has to be at least equal to this. Every single day it needs to come down from heaven. In the”Our Father“, if you follow the literal translation of the Greek (epiousios) it says “give us our super-substantial bread” CCC, 2837. If this New Manna has to be equal or greater to the old Manna, then it has to come everyday, and it has to nourish more than the physical body. Manna never brought the Israelites to their heavenly destiny, yet this is what the Eucharist does!
Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you; Moses gave you not bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
Jesus is making the people understand that what they had under Moses was only physical food. It was not food that would feed their souls, and give them eternal life. God himself will provide this bread, just like God provided the ram for Abraham’s sacrifice. And yes, God HIMSELF did provide this bread, because this bread is Jesus, and Jesus is God.
For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world.
In the Catholic Mass, the priest says the following in the Eucharistic prayer “Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall“. Doesn’t this make one think of the manna, who was like “dew covering the earth’s surface” (Exodus 16:14).
They said therefore unto him: Lord, give us always this bread.
The Israelites understand that He has this bread that they are waiting for. They are waiting for a new Exodus, and Jesus comes along and starts fulfilling the requirements. The people want this bread from God! Yet they do not understand that Jesus Himself is that bread.
And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in me shall never thirst.
Jesus says He is the bread of life. If you flashback to the Old Testament, where was the bread of the presence kept? Yes, in a Tabernacle. So, did Jesus dwell in a Tabernacle? Yes, He actually dwelled in the Immaculate womb of Mary. From the Song of Songs 4:12 “My bride, my true love, a close garden; hedged all about, a spring shut in and sealed! What wealth of grace is here!” This talks about Mary in a beautiful way, mentioning her virginity, and her overflowing grace. Mary who is the spouse of the Holy Spirit, was the Immaculate Tabernacle where God Himself dwelled. So Jesus says that He is the Bread of Life, and that those who go to Him will never hunger and never thirst. This can actually be taken literally! Some holy Catholics, such as Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich actually lived for years only by the Body and Blood of Jesus. Doctors examined her and were not able to find an earthly explanation. Jesus can do miracles such as that to show us the power of His words.
But I said unto you, that you also have seen me, and you believe not.
This is both a prophecy that will happen later in this passage, and a message that resounds today. How many today go at Mass and participate in everything, yet do not believe. You cannot be a Catholic, you cannot be a Christian if you do not believe in the words of Jesus.
All that the Father giveth to me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will not cast out.
The Spiritual Combat, Chapter 53 says that all of our weapons against the devil are made powerful through Jesus Christ. Yet it goes further, saying that when we eat His flesh and drink His blood, it is Jesus Himself fighting in us, to keep us from evil. You can also do a spiritual communion, which you should try to do very often. Whenever we enter in communion with God, either through a spiritual or a sacramental communion, God gives us to Christ, and Christ gives Himself to us. Sacramental communion is greater, yet renewing the sacrament through spiritual communion helps us to remain close to God.
Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. Now this is the will of the Father who sent me: that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing; but should raise it up again in the last day. And this is the will of my Father that sent me: that every one who seeth the Son, and believeth in him, may have life everlasting, and I will raise him up in the last day.
The human will of Jesus is in perfect accord with that of the Father, they do not contradict one another in any way. All that belongs to Jesus belongs to the Father. All that belongs to the Father belongs to Jesus. This shows the perfect harmony between the persons of the Holy Trinity. Jesus goes on and talks about the resurrection of the dead. He promised that when we do the will of the Father, we will have life everlasting, and that we will be raised on the last day. This is our hope of salvation! As well, this is also related to the mystery of predestination (CCC, 600).
The Jews therefore murmured at him, because he had said: I am the living bread which came down from heaven. And they said: Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How then saith he, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered, and said to them: Murmur not among yourselves.
The Jews murmur against Jesus, just as they murmured against Moses in the wilderness (Numbers 11:1). So the Jews thought that they knew what they were talking about. They knew the father and mother of Jesus, or rather, they knew about them. They knew Jesus, because He had grown up with them. To those people, Jesus is only a man, who comes from ordinary parents. They cannot grasp that He came down from heaven.
No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him; and I will raise him up in the last day. It is written in the prophets: And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard of the Father, and hath learned, cometh to me. Not that any man hath seen the Father; but he who is of God, he hath seen the Father.
The Ignatius Catholic Bible uses in its translation “and they shall be taught by God“. It then goes in the notes to says that “it directly paraphrases Isaiah 54:13 (All thy children, then, shall be disciples of the Lord; thy children, blessed how abundantly with peace!) and could incorporate other prophets as in Jeremiah 31:34 (There will be no need for neighbour to teach neighbour, or brother to teach brother, the knowledge of the Lord; all will know me, from the highest to the lowest. I will pardon their wrong-doing; I will not remember their sins any more.)
Amen, amen I say unto you: He that believeth in me, hath everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die.
Jesus starts with a double affirmation. Then He proceeds to explain to the people that they must believe in Him in order to have everlasting life. He then says that He is the bread of life! He is a bread unlike that of their ancestors. I’ll make you notice right away, all throughout this passage, Jesus is not saying that He is like the bread of life. He is not saying that the bread of life is a symbol of Himself. It is saying that He is the bread of life. He is saying that you must believe this in order to have everlasting life. He is saying that you must eat Him, who comes from heaven, in order that you do not die. The more Jesus repeat something, the more it shows the importance of that teaching or thing. How many times does He emphases that you must eat Him, and that He is the bread of heaven? Many, many times! This is critical teachings!
I am the living bread which came down from heaven.
Jesus doesn’t just say he is the bread from heaven, but that He is the Living Bread! That bread from heaven will be alive! When we receive communion, we partake of Jesus who is risen. It’s very important to understand this. As well, God is the God of the living, so this bread from God is the bread of the living. Jesus is not dead when we receive Him, he is alive!
If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world.
What can I say more? Jesus is so clear, you either believe His words and eat of this bread which came down from heaven, which is His flesh, and you have everlasting life, or you don’t believe and you experience the opposite. You do not eat of this bread and you do not have everlasting life.
The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
The Jews are questioning what Jesus is saying. They do not understand that Jesus is not talking about cannibalism. Jesus has clarified this, by saying He is not just bread, but living bread. Yet they refuse to understand.
Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you:
When Jesus says “Amen, Amen”, He is saying a double affirmation, it’s an oath! He is not backing down on His teaching, on the contrary, He reaffirms it!
Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man,
The Israelites had to consume the paschal lamb in order for the sacrifice of Passover to be accomplished. It was understood when you did a sacrifice, you gave up the use of the thing sacrificed. You took your best lamb, and instead of using it, you gave up its use. When you sacrificed something, you either burnt it, or you consumed it. The sacrifice of the Lamb did not end with killing it, it ended when you ate its flesh. Saint John, the same author, also calls Jesus the Lamb of God, especially in Revelation.
and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.
If you are familiar with Leviticus 17:14, you know that the Jews were forbidden to drink the blood of an animal. Then why is Jesus saying unless you eat His flesh and drink His blood you have no life in you? The answer is actually in Leviticus 17:14! Jews were forbidden to drink blood because it is “the blood that holds the life“! Yet it is fine to drink the blood of Jesus, because His blood contains eternal life! And unless you drink of His blood, you cannot have eternal life! The Israelites had to place the blood of the lamb on their door so that their firstborn might live! It is through the blood of Christ the firstborn, “Born of the Father before all ages“, that we are redeemed!
He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.
Jesus is repeating this, so that the people may understand that He will not change what He says! Furthermore, Jesus promises us that if we partake in the Eucharist, He will raise us up on the last day! If Jesus was simply speaking metaphorically, then it would be understood as a Hebrew idiom referring to the brutalities of war. Jesus is not speaking about war, so His words have to be interpreted literally. Furthermore, the Greek word for eats is Trogo, it is a verb meaning “chew” or “gnaw”, similar in that of animals. Jesus as born in a manger, a place where animals fed. Sin makes us like animals, so this again serves as a precursor for the New Covenant.
For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed.
Jesus said that He is the bread which came down from heaven, and now He says His flesh is meat. Does this mean there is a contradiction in His words? Absolutely not, because His flesh and blood which He gives us, is under the appearance of bread and wine. Saint Thomas Aquinas talks about this is a wonderful manner in his Summa Theologiæ, Part 3, Question 75. He says that the Essence of something is by definition what that thing is. Bread IS bread, until the words of consecration happen. After the words of consecration, it’s not bread, it IS Jesus. It’s all of Jesus. Now if it still looks like bread and like wine, that is because the accidents remain. My dog gets run over. It is still my dog, that is his essence. The accident is that the dog is squished, his form is not the same. Another example is that as I get older, I’ll grow shorter, and my hairs will turn white. That doesn’t change me, who I am inside, being me is my Essence, but the accident is that my physical aspects have in fact changed. This is the same with the Eucharist. The Essence, what that thing IS, it is Jesus, not bread. The accident is that it looks like bread. And sometimes those accidents are also removed. Eucharistic miracles have happened all around the world. God allows that to strengthen the Faith of the people. The Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano in Italy is a pretty famous one.
He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him.
Those who partake of the Lord’s Supper, those who receive the Body and Blood of Jesus, Jesus literally dwells in them! Abide means to dwell. So Jesus will be physically present inside the person who eats His flesh and drinks His blood! This language closely resembles the one used to describe the union of a man and woman. When we partake of the Eucharist, we come in union (communion) with Jesus. Jesus is the bridegroom, and we His Church, are His bride. Just like the union between a man and a woman is physical as well as spiritual, the communion between us and Jesus, through the sacrament of the Eucharist, is also spiritual and physical. We become one with Jesus, He dwells in us, and we in Him! It is a reference to marriage where the two flesh become one and where the souls become united. This is the perfect marriage of Christ and His bride, where the two flesh become one, where we become the body of Christ.
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me.
When we eat Jesus, we, like Him, live by the Father. Jesus is consubstantial with the Father meaning He is the of same substance. And when we eat Jesus we eat God. The prayer the priest prays when mixing the water and the wine at Mass goes as follows : By the mystery of this water and wine (2 Maccabees 15:39; John 19:34) may we come to share in the divinity of Christ (Romans 5:2; 2 Peter 1:4) who humbled himself to share in our humanity (Philippians 2:8). The water and the wine are mixed as a sign of the blood and water that flowed from the side of Jesus. Also, there were drains in the temple to flush out the blood of the lambs, and the priests added water to facilitate the flow. So you would have seen blood and water flowing from the side of the temple. Water is a symbol of life, and Jesus says He is the living water. So here again, you see the fulfillment of the Jewish passover through the Catholic Mass.
This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.
This along with the previous verse is clear. Jesus this the bread that came from heaven. He is the everlasting bread, and we must eat of that bread to live forever. To accept and bring to fulfillment the sacrifice of Jesus in our life, we must partake of the Eucharist!
These things he said, teaching in the synagogue, in Capharnaum. Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard, and who can hear it?
This is not easy to accept, and that is true. You must have faith that what Jesus said is the truth to believe. Faith requires us to accept mysteries, and the mystery of the Eucharist will never be fully comprehended. Because God is greater than us, His truths are greater than our understanding.
But Jesus, knowing in himself, that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you? If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
What would have scandalized Jesus’ disciples would have been that they were seeing themselves having to eat the dead body of Jesus for the things He said to happen. Jesus counters this with the following verse. As well, Jesus responds in about the same way as He does to the high priest in Mark 14:62, which is interesting.
It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life.
It’s not a dead Jesus that we are receiving at Communion! On the contrary, it is the risen Jesus! That is why it is possible for Jesus it be present in the Eucharist, because it is His glorified body that we partake of. This is also how He gives us His eternal life!
But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that did not believe, and who he was, that would betray him. And he said: Therefore did I say to you, that no man can come to me, unless it be given him by my Father. After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him.
Some who were following Jesus left Him because they did not believe in His word. Individuals who do not accept this teaching of Jesus, are either like Judas, betraying Him each time they receive Him in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, or they walk no more with Him. You have to accept this in order to walk with Jesus, for unless you eat His flesh and drink His blood you will not have eternal life! To accept the Ultimate Sacrifice of Jesus, we must eat the lamb. The passover did not end with the lamb being sacrificed on the altar, it ended with the lamb being consumed. Jesus did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away?
Many throughout the ages have left the Jesus and His Church because they did not believe this vital teaching. In our day and age, the protestants and sadly many Catholics take on this role pretty well. Who are you? Do you have enough Faith to believe in the words of Jesus, or are you like the Jews, who murmured saying “this is a hard teaching, who can accept this“. Jesus is not talking symbolically, He is saying the hard truth.
And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.
Simon Peter takes the lead and answers for the rest. He does not yet understand fully what Jesus is saying, yet he will persevere. Peter has a lot of Faith, he recognizes that Jesus is the Messiah, and he keeps on believing even if he has not all of the answers! This is a great example of Christian Faith. Peter understands that Jesus is God. He also understands to “Do whatever He tells you” as Mary, who really helps us to get to her son Jesus, tells all of us in John 2:5.
Jesus answered them: Have not I chosen you twelve; and one of you is a devil? Now he meant Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon: for this same was about to betray him, whereas he was one of the twelve.
Judas had stopped believing in his heart, therefore when he partook of the Lord’s Supper, he was “guilty of the body and blood of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:27). Being guilty of one’s blood refers to murder in the Bible. How can you murder a symbol? You cannot. Saint Paul reaffirms the words of Christ! Saint Paul understood the same as the other disciples, and he actually reaffirms the Real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, and the fact that those who are in a state of mortal sin do not receive everlasting life, but eat and drink damnation upon themselves.