Jesus as the Living Bread - John 6

When Jesus in chapter six of St. John’s gospel draws a comparison between the manna in the desert and the establishment of His own sacrifice in the Eucharist, He points out that those who ate the manna ultimately died. He then says that those who partake of His own Flesh, which is Living Bread, will live forever; what does He mean by that? I think I know what He means, but if He’s speaking of spiritual life in the case of the Eucharist, how is it not comparing apples and oranges if He’s speaking of physical death in the case of those who ate the manna in the desert?

This is where Protestants like to interject that Jesus was speaking in purely metaphorical terms.

Read the reply. Very revealing. Thanks! :slight_smile:

Venerable Fulton Sheen said something along the lines of: If the “Bread” which Jesus offered was merely symbolic or merely bread, then what Jesus was offering was actually inferior to the Manna. The Manna was literally miracuolous food that appeared on the ground every morning and sustained the people physically. If the Eucharist is merely bread and a mere memorial, that’s really nowhere as miraculous as Manna. Jesus wasn’t giving us something worse than Manna, but rather something better!

Tell them this: If it was symbolical, then how come He stated,“Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink of His Blood, you shall not ave life within you?”
Also ask them why He didn’t say,“Wait, it was just a metaphor!”:rolleyes:

Perhaps the main focus of my OP was mistaken. I was inquiring as to what Jesus meant when He said that His Flesh was unlike the manna, in that partakers of the manna died. Don’t partakers of the Eucharist die physically as well?

I wasn’t inquiring on whether the Eucharist is symbolic or not.

Jesus was saying that manna did not prevent death of the body and the body will remain in death since the manna had no power to give eternal life.

But the real manna from heaven, the Eucharist, gives life to the body because it will live forever because of the resurrection.

“He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I in him.”
Jesus also says that that man will live forever. How? As the person is one with Jesus and draws life from Jesus. So that person will rise too because Jesus will raise him up on the last day.

What he is saying in a nutshell is I AM life. Consume me and you too will have life.

Jesus is actually referring to the second death instead of the transition we all must take.

He also allowed some of his disciples to leave Him, if it was a metaphor he would have told them this.

I know Protestants that state that eating his Body and Blood is symbolic of the Crucifixion, no idea how they came to that conclusion.

When those who ate the manna died physically, their soul continued to exist in the state of death, so to speak. By that I mean, they did not enter into heaven; they did not enter into the Father’s presence, into eternal life. The manna could not accomplish that. It could not fill their soul with the supernatural life of God. Eternal life for them had to wait for Jesus’ redemptive actions.

When we** (believers in the state of grace)** receive Jesus in the Eucharist, we are receiving “life” in us already, for Jesus is “the life”.
John 1:4 In Him was life…
John 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself,
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “**I am **the resurrection and the life; …”

Assuming we’re in the state of grace, we do not have to remain separated from God when we die as did the faithful in the Old Testament.

Gavin, context is everything and that’s something that some of those n-C folks aren’t good at. Have a look at this blog article of mine and see if it helps. The Eucharist IS Scriptural

Jesus stated very clearly in John 6 that one must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have “life” in them, to “life forever”, …
Altho there’s no Church doctrine that I know of about it, I think that for the good people who died before Jesus, and also those non-Catholic dead since Jesus who were good, God makes provision in some way for them to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus before they enter heaven.

God is telling us that he provided the Manna for one thing, and the Eucharist for another. They are different. The Manna was supplied to feed the Israelite in the desert. It was temporary sustenance from God to ensure that they survive. The new Manna which is the body of Jesus is different in that it is life itself and Jesus SHOWED us that his body never dies, and that he wants us to share in it with him.

So yes, it’s apples and oranges as you say. But Jesus is not making an analogy. He is pointing out the difference.


The Eucharist as Jesus says is key to where one will spend eternity.

Once created by God, the soul is immortal. Once created, It cant cease to exist. It will exist forever.

The question is, where will forever be for the soul, heaven or hell.

Life spoken of in the context we’re using it, refers to sanctifying grace in the soul. Is it present or not present in the soul at death of the body.

Jesus (body blood soul and divinity in the Eucharist) is that life necessary for the soul to go to heaven…

Mortal sin destroys that necessary grace in the soul. The soul still exists, but without sanctifying grace. So if one dies in mortal sin, the soul will exist forever in hell not heaven. That’s why the sacrament of reconciliation is so powerful.

Then at the end of the world, and the resurrection of the body occurs, the body will live again only now forever, because on that day body and soul are reunited.

*]if the soul is in heaven, it is now in heaven body and soul …forever
*]If the soul is in hell, body and soul will be reunited again only in hell…forever
*]purgatory, at that point ceases to exist. All souls in purgatory at that time, go to heaven body and soul
Re: Protestants on this issue, one has to have the supernatural faith necessary to accept these supernatural realities. I pray a rosary every day for their conversion

Why would it be metaphorical? Is spiritual death a metaphorical death-or a real death?

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