Certainly, we know that the Jews were forbidden to drink blood of any kind. So the suggestion that people drink the blood of Jesus was highly offensive to those
listening. In John 6: 60 we read: “When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?’ But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, ‘Does this offend you?’” Verse 66: “Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him.”
If Jesus were merely speaking symbolically, there would have been no reason for his disciples to have found the teaching so difficult that they would turn away from him. If Jesus had only been speaking symbolically, when he saw their reaction, he could have assured them that he was only speaking figuratively. But he didn’t!
“So Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away? Simon Peter answered
him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life?’” Peter didn’t understand what he was saying anymore that those who turned away did. He simply trusted him because he loved him.
So with us! Jesus could have designed the Eucharist so that the bread and wine would physically change its appearance. But the only way Christians have ever been able to recognize that a change takes place is through trusting his word because they love him.
After looking at a crucifix and reviewing all that he suffered, do we consider that HIS love and HIS word are worth trusting? For over 2000 years Catholic Christians have.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.