Is the Catholic interpretation of John 6 condeming Vatican II?


#1

I know this has come up in these forums before, but I have yet to see a good answer.

How does that Catholic Church defend its interpretation of John 6 that Jesus is talking about His true flesh and blood in the Eucharistic species, and go on to maintain that it is possible for those who are not Catholic or have not received that same Eucharist to receive eternal life?

[quote=John6:53]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.
[/quote]

How can someone who has “no life in them” possibly have eternal life?

After all, this isn’t a positive affirmation such as “If you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood”. It is a negative statement: “If you don’t, you will not have life”. The two are very different in that the first can be reasoned by saying, “well, He doesn’t say that there are not other ways to obtaining eternal life”. You cannot make the same logical reasoning with the second.

When talking about John 6, this is often one of the first rebuttals I get from protestants. “So, only Catholics who receive the Eucharist can be saved?” Add to that the fact that the Church doesn’t allow non-Catholics to receive, which many protestants find to be nothing more than an exclusivist practice, and good two-way dialog is finished. Our interpretation basically condemns them, when taken at face value (which is what we essentially want from the surrounding verses).

Your thoughts?

Peace,
javelin


#2

Ever heard the term “invincible ignorance?”


#3

At Fatima an Angel gave Lucia the Eucharist:) I wonder if those who did not have the opportunity to find the true Church but searched for God with the prayers of the Mass and the Faithful aren’t given a grace by our Lord:) And the Eucharist by an Angel.:slight_smile: Just a thought.


#4

What about the other dude who was being crucified at the same time as Jesus? He didn’t partake of the eucharist, yet Jesus said he would see him in paradise (I forget what he really said). Then there are infants who have been baptized. We would say that all of these people receive eternal life, yet they didn’t ever “eat his flesh”. So it seems like we have an apparent contradiction, but I would say that it is normative for you to have to partake of the eucharist, it just isn’t absolutely necessary. I’m pretty sure that’s the Church’s position, isn’t it?


#5

Also, perhaps Jesus did not expect all the schisms that have happened, or thought that he was being so plain, that no one would have understood him figurativly and thus would have had no problem eating his flesh and drinking his blood.


#6

[quote=FuzzyBunny116]Also, perhaps Jesus did not expect all the schisms that have happened, or thought that he was being so plain, that no one would have understood him figurativly and thus would have had no problem eating his flesh and drinking his blood.
[/quote]

Correction, Jesus is God, and he knew everything, thats why he set up the church.


#7

This is, in truth, just a variation of the arguments about baptismal regeneration and salavation outside the Church. For example, the charge from those Protestants who don’t think baptism is necessary is “What about those you are unable or never had a chance to be baptised? What about the good thief on the Cross?” etc, stc.

The answer to that question and the present one are the same. God has commanded us to do certain things involving our salvation. We are bound by his commandments to us. However God is not. If he wants to save someone by another way he can and may.

Notice I say MAY and not WILL. Someone (and this includes non-Catholics who know but refuse to believe) who knows God’s requirements (and they are in the Scriptures and in the constant teaching of the Church from the time of the Apostles)and does not do them will be held accountable.


#8

They are known as anonymous Christians, anyone who did not willingly reject Christ or his Church but live according to the moral law written into their conscience


#9

Vatican II help to find common points with other christians but don´t fall in a religious syncretism. The church is necessary for salvation.


#10

Javelin

       The answer lies within one's FAITH. Any rational human being who is honest would say, somebody human made those wafers and made that wine. Right? Of course. And when I put that wafer in my mouth it tastes life a plain wafer. And when I sip the wine it TASTES like real wine. I can even SMELL the aroma. So you are trying to tell me it really is the flesh and blood of Christ? Are you nuts or what? This would be the human reaction and rightfully so.


        Even the early fathers said from all APPEARANCES it is merely bread and wine. But by OUR FAITH it BECOMES the flesh and blood of Christ and also by the consecrated words of the priest as well. Even a priest can be in private, an immoral person and yet when he says the words of consecration the change occurs. But even so, we must believe within ourselves that is true or we do not truly receive the flesh and blood of Christ. 

       The reason why when Protestants partake of the Eucharist and they do not receive life within them, is because they THEMSELVES do not believe the consecrated bread and wine actually BECOME the flesh and blood of Christ. The greatest truth of the bible is that we can receive no blessing from God whether baptism, healing or the the flesh and blood of Christ without FAITH. This is what Christ meant that those who did not believe his words concerning the Eucharist. They simply did not believe. Do you believe, despite what your rational mind and senses tell you? If not, then you have no life within you.

#11

But even so, we must believe within ourselves that is true or we do not truly receive the flesh and blood of Christ.

The Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ, whether we believe it is or not. If we receive it without believing, we eat and drink condemnation on ourselves.
“For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves” (1 Corinthians 11:29).
Notice that Paul does not say that all who eat and drink without discerning the body do not receive the Body of our Lord. Certainly, if we do not believe that it is true, we do not reap the benefits of receiving the flesh and blood of Christ, but we nonetheless do receive Him.


#12

[quote=Grace and Glory]The Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ, whether we believe it is or not. If we receive it without believing, we eat and drink condemnation on ourselves.
“For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves” (1 Corinthians 11:29).
Notice that Paul does not say that all who eat and drink without discerning the body do not receive the Body of our Lord. Certainly, if we do not believe that it is true, we do not reap the benefits of receiving the flesh and blood of Christ, but we nonetheless do receive Him.
[/quote]

Seconded.


#13

The greatest truth of the bible is that we can receive no blessing from God whether baptism, healing or the the flesh and blood of Christ without FAITH.

Such a simple sentence, yet amazingly profound. Good work :slight_smile:


#14

[quote=javelin]I know this has come up in these forums before, but I have yet to see a good answer.

How does that Catholic Church defend its interpretation of John 6 that Jesus is talking about His true flesh and blood in the Eucharistic species, and go on to maintain that it is possible for those who are not Catholic or have not received that same Eucharist to receive eternal life?

How can someone who has “no life in them” possibly have eternal life?

After all, this isn’t a positive affirmation such as “If you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood”. It is a negative statement: “If you don’t, you will not have life”. The two are very different in that the first can be reasoned by saying, “well, He doesn’t say that there are not other ways to obtaining eternal life”. You cannot make the same logical reasoning with the second.

When talking about John 6, this is often one of the first rebuttals I get from protestants. “So, only Catholics who receive the Eucharist can be saved?” Add to that the fact that the Church doesn’t allow non-Catholics to receive, which many protestants find to be nothing more than an exclusivist practice, and good two-way dialog is finished. Our interpretation basically condemns them, when taken at face value (which is what we essentially want from the surrounding verses).

Your thoughts?

Peace,
javelin
[/quote]

Vatican II does not say that those outside the physical Church will be saved. Instead it says they “can” be saved. Did the prophet Elijah recieve the physical bread and wine? No. Did all the other old testament saints recieve the physical bread and wine? No. Did the crucified criminal that repented at the side of Jesus recieve the physical bread and wine? No. Did St. John the Baptist recieve the physical bread and wine? No. However, did they recieve the Eucharist? Of course! They recieved it spiritually. The Eucharist is not just the visible bread and wine but it is also the invisible. We must always try to recieve the visible body and blood of Jesus in the form of bread and wine, but when we can’t there is a spiritual Eucharist.


#15

[quote=Roman_Army]They recieved it spiritually. The Eucharist is not just the visible bread and wine but it is also the invisible. We must always try to recieve the visible body and blood of Jesus in the form of bread and wine, but when we can’t there is a spiritual Eucharist.
[/quote]

I’ve never heard of “a spiritual Eucharist” before. However, I suppose you mean a spiritual Communion, as in:
An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen. (Source: www.ewtn.com)


#16

I hear what you all are saying, but it really, IMHO, cheapens the impact of His message. He is being unequivocal: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life within you.” As soon as we try to say “yes, but…”, the impact of those words is lost.

The most troubling thing for me is that for the general protestant interpretation of all of John 6, this passage fits it quite nicely, without creating the apparent contradiction with other parts of Sacred Scripture where it seems that people are “saved” without having tasted of the substance of the perfect sacrifice. To protestants, Jesus is talking of faith in Him, and without that faith, we are lifeless. Catholic doctrine would agree with that, and we don’t have to go through intellectual contortions to reconcile the Bible with itself. But when we begin to equate John 6 with the Eucharistic species of our Lord, which the Church will not share with non-Catholics, we create a more exclusive and narrow road to Heaven (Jesus did say it was narrow).

So, I would think that if we Catholics were really being true to our own interpretation of John 6, we should be much MUCH more concerned about the eternal fate of our separated brothers and sisters than we have seemed of late. The attitude of many seems to be “unless you REALLY feel called out of your current faith, you shouldn’t concern yourself with converting to Catholicism.” This message seems to be that one’s conscience is content as an evangelical, baptist, etc., then it’s fine to remain there indefinitely.

And yet out of the other side of our mouths, our theology seems to be saying that the eternal security of anyone outside the Catholic faith (especially those who have converted *from *Catholicism to a protestant creed) is in serious doubt. After all, if we believe what we believe about John 6, is God’s Mercy deep enough to essentially make Him go back on His word?

And if it is, well, is there really ANY NEED to be Catholic AT ALL? Why not then go to the closest church where one feels they are growing the most in their journey with God, making “spiritual communion” on a regular basis?

So anyways, this is just an example of the can of worms that John 6 opens up during efforts to share the faith. Rest assured that my faith the in reality of the Eucharist is strong, but I think therein lies my struggle in that I may be making it to be MORE than Christ even intended. Or maybe not.

Your thoughts?

Peace,
javelin


#17

still not intellectually satisfied, so…

bump :slight_smile:


#18

1 Cor 11:27**-30.** Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill and some have died.

Because the Eucharist is not a symbol, but really the body and blood of Christ, it has power. This entails responsibility for us. The Eucharist is tied into the sacrament of Confession in a very real and powerful way. Confession prepares us for Holy Communion in a perfect way by allowing us to examine ourselves and “[discern] the body.” This begins to get to the heart of why non-Catholics cannot participate.

The Church limits participation out of concern for souls. In her wisdom, the Church prevents you from “eat[ing] and drink[ing] judgment upon” yourself. Because non-Catholics do not understand the power of the Eucharist and the sanctity with which we should approach the altar, they are not prepared to accept the responsibility that the Eucharist entails. In other words, if you do not understand what you eat, you can’t possibly understand the ramifications of eating it. The Church is protecting you from the inevitable judgment that is so severe that “some have died.” That’s the power and holiness of God.

The Church will not say that salvation is not possible for those who do not receive the Holy Eucharist because only God knows who will be saved. This is a mystery you are going to have to live with. On your part–just continue to practice your faith–and believe! :slight_smile:


#19

But doesn’t anyone see the dichotomy here?

On the one hand we Catholics say "In John 6, Jesus is talking about how He will come to us, literally body and blood, in the Eucharist. When He says “my Body…my Blood” He is referring to His physical presence, brought to us in the Eucharist.

But then, when Jesus says “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood”, which we are translating as literally His body and blood (available to us in the Eucharist), “you have no life in you.”

So to be consistent in our interpretation of His body and blood being present to us in the Eucharist, don’t we also need to say that “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man in the Eucharist and drink His blood through the Eucharist, you have no life in you”?

As I said before, I am not just making up questions of doubt – this has been practically the first question I have gotten from many of the protestants I’ve tried to share the Truth of the Real Presence with using John 6.

Peace,
javelin


#20

I’m not sure how much help this will be, but I’ll take a shot at it.
When Jesus was speaking in John 6, he spoke literally about the requirement to eat his flesh and drink his blood, because for those who heard his words and knew what he meant, to reject the Eucharist was an explicit rejection of Christ himself. For a Protestant, the rejection of the Eucharist is not an attempt to reject Christ. The Protestant who rejects the Eucharist genuinely believes that Jesus did not teach the Real Presence. The Protestant mistakenly believes that in rejecting the Eucharist, he is following the true teaching of Christ. His ignorance of what he is rejecting prevents him from bearing the full weight of responsibility for his action.
I think that a parallel to the situation of the people Jesus spoke to in John 6 would be more along the lines of any person, Catholic or not, who genuinely knew what Jesus meant, who knew the truth about the Eucharist, and still refused to partake of it.


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