John 6 Question


I left the Church right after being confirmed. I spent 38 years exploring various Protestant denominations. I returned in 2000. For some time now there has been a question about John 6 that nags me. Our separated brethren do not partake in the Eucharist, so John 6 tells us they have no life in them. Yet I spent 38 years with them and I can attest they are full of life! Impossible for me to reconcile these two issues. HELP!

Biloxi, MS


That’s a great question. After going back and rereading some John and other references, I think that the specific verse you mentioned needs to be considered along with other verses such as John 3:16.

John 6:53.
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.

John 3:16.
For God so loved the world that he gave* his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.


Life probably means a different thing than what you think it means.


Remember in the movie, The Ten Commandments, when Moses descended with the Decalogue and the earth opened up and swallowed Dathan and his followers?

They were full of life, singing and dancing right up to the end.

Separated Christians are different - as long as they believe and are baptized. The Church has granted the status of invincible ignorance to those who will not embrace the totality of Truth as revealed to and through the Church Christ founded for our salvation.


Good question! And I relate, because I know that the Holy Spirit is with our Protestant brothers and sisters, too.

People might turn this thread into a big battle over whether there is any salvation outside the Church or not. I don’t want to get into all of that.

I would say, read this verse in the light of all of Scripture and with the Catechism.

Remember the thief on the cross? He didn’t eat the Eucharist but he was saved. There is a baptism of desire. The Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways, bringing us to a deeper knowledge of the truth.

Our separated brothers and sisters are ignorant of the Church’s teachings about the Eucharist, but they believe in the teachings about the Trinity and Jesus as their Savior. They are joined (however imperfectly) to the Church through their baptisms.

They are following Jesus the best they can. We entrust them to God’s mercy. He can judge their hearts and their desire for Him better than we can.


they don’t have fullness of grace,with in them,only with the holy euchrist,there is fullness of life as in Jn10:10.only with the holy Euchrist their eyes where open even thougth they knew the scruptures in theory. same way for protestants ,only outwardly,go by their emotional state by feeelings.

Luke 24: 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us[k] while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” 33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.


Indeed, they are open to grace through their Baptist. The fact they there are devout Protestants who can feel God working in their lives does not diminish John 6.

We ultimately have no way of knowing God’s will for them. Additionally, if they are invincibly ignorant of the Truth there is no reason for us to believe our just God would not be merciful toward them.


Yes, exactly.

It’s easy to get my feathers ruffled when people act like Protestants are completely without grace or the Spirit, since I know experientially this isn’t true.

But they certainly don’t have the fullness of the truth, the fullness of the Spirit, the life-giving, transforming, sustaining grace and power of the Sacraments or the Eucharist.

For all these things we should pray for them, and entrust them to God’s mercy.



And, as someone who is presently making the transition to the TRUE faith, I am daily amazed at how much richer my faith is for having been brought to the truth (and I don’t even have access to the sacraments yet!)


The Catholic Church has what it has. But the Church doesn’t have everything. Many things are left as being mysterious. But I do believe that the Catholic Church has the most under one roof, so to speak.

As far as individual Catholics go…many who think they have “the fullness of the faith” just because they frequently participate in the Sacraments may be fooling themselves.


I am so excited for you! I completely understand.

The Eucharist is worth all the waiting. :heart_eyes::revolving_hearts::revolving_hearts:

For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.


An excellent reminder that complacency is death. We still have plenty of work to do.


Of course.

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Cor 9:27

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:1-2


We are well advised to doubt ourselves first. If our eyes looked inward at our spirits rather than outward at others, we would be repulsed at what we saw.

And, for this precise reason, we have the Sacraments.

But, all is worthless without faith.


Thank you for this response. I have been looking inward ever since I returned to the Sacraments in 2000. I have not seen the depth of my soul, but what I do see is not pleasing to me at all. The advice “know thy self” is something I strive to do daily.

My concern for others comes from the love I have for them. My search to understand John 6 continues after my 38 years of experience with our separated brothers.

God Bless



The Catholic Church has the fullness of the faith. It takes a lifetime for Catholics to learn, but I do not believe we ever achieve the fullness of the faith by ourselves. I was protestant for 38 years so I have been away from the Church longer than I have been a Catholic. Now if I make it to 76 then I will be even.

God Bless

Thank you for the reply.




I wonder what you’d actually think - and say -
if you were a faithful Catholic for 38 years.
But you cant.
It’s nice to hear you, though, coming back to the faith -
but - me, I shudder ! to think of attending - Protestant churches
and other various type of denominations - for 38 years.


Good point. Notice John 3:16 says “might not perish” so those who believe in once saved always saved need to reconsider their belief.


True. Another area to explore.


Hmmm…Food for thought. I still desire for my Protestest Brethren to come to the fullness of the truth even though they are ignorant. I was ignorant for 50 years until the grace of God brought me back to the faith

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