As I was trying to prepare a defense about the Real Presence to a Protestant, I came across a stumbling block. Of course Catholics say that the real “proof” of the Real Presence is in John 6:32-71, I was troubled by a protestant who said that Jesus did not literally mean by the phrase,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”
that the Communion Host would become Jesus, Himself, but rather it merely symbolizes Him. It seems the real hang up about the Eucharist is not so much that we have this communion service, but that we as Catholics are idol worshiping because Jesus did not intend for us to think that the host was literally change into Jesus.
The protestant argument is made more solid because Jesus often called himself many things, eg. “I am the vine, you are the branches.”
So how is it that we as Catholics can be so certain that in the case of the Eucharist, he did actually mean for us to take him literally and in other situations we know he only meant the statement symbolically?