Men, Gnaw on This: “This is My Body and Blood.”
A lot of men are confused about the Eucharist. Of course, this is nothing new.
Many Catholic men today do not understand that the Eucharist is the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. No wonder only about a third of Catholic men attend Mass on a regular basis!
Jesus makes it clear that (John 6:52-69) that the Eucharist is really and truly is His real Body and Blood:
 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?  So Jesus said to them, “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 you;  he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.  For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.  He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.  As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me.  This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.”  This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Caper’na-um.
 Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?  But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?  Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before?  It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.  But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him.  And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”  After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.  Jesus said to 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;  and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
Jesus is teaching the Truth about the Eucharist but many don’t want to believe. Except Peter. Consider:
- Jesus has made the point repeatedly that He is saying that one must eat His real Body (see John 6:16-51).
- The Jews get it and it is freaking them out: ”How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
- Jesus doesn’t say, “Oh…never mind!” or “Hey, I was just being metaphorical!” or “Hold own there, I didn’t mean My real Body.”
- When the Jews question His meaning, Jesus cranks up the Truth in an explicit way and says “Truly, Truly…” When Jesus repeats Himself, pay attention.
- Jesus then confirms in very clear and strong language that those who wish to have life must “eat My flesh and drink My blood”.
- In fact the Greek word, trogo, which is translated as “eat” is actually more accurately translated as “gnaw” or “chew”; this word is never used figuratively in the Greek.
- When Jesus says “drink My blood” He is saying something that the Jews would find unacceptable with their worldly understanding, for consuming blood was forbidden (Lev 17:14; Deut 12:23) for the blood was considered to have life power. He didn’t mean “figurative” blood and the Jews didn’t take it that way.
- The Jews say, “This is a hard saying, who can listen to it?” If Jesus was just being figurative, or metaphorical, the Jews would not have been so upset. The Jews “get” what Jesus is saying, and they don’t like it.
- But Jesus, again, does not soft peddle or change His meaning, saying, “Do you take offense at this?” In essence, Jesus is saying, “Don’t want to believe it? Then don’t.”
- After that “many” of the disciples no longer follows Jesus. These former disciples did not leave over a figurative statement.
- Jesus doesn’t back down, even when the many leave. He asks the Twelve, “Do also wish to go away?”
Many Christian men, including most Protestants and many Catholics, don’t believe that the Eucharist is the real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. They want to believe that despite the multiple times that Jesus says it really is His Body and Blood, that somehow Jesus was talking figuratively.
This doesn’t square with the facts: the Jews of Jesus time were very offended and left Him in droves.
Those who refuse to come to the Church to partake in the Eucharist are in a very real way acting just like the many false disciples who turned away from Jesus. Or, they are cherry picking what Jesus says is true or not true, taking it upon themselves to selectively interpret Christ with their own limited and confused “wisdom”.
Catholic men: The Church that Jesus founded as always taught the truth of what Jesus said. And only in the Catholic Church (and those in communion with her) can one partake in the real Body and Blood of Christ.
Remember this each time you pass a parish: Jesus Christ, the Eternal King is dwelling in the tabernacle. Not in som figurative way…but really and truly in the Eucharist.
Be a Committed Catholic Man; show reverence for the Eucharist…especially when you sons and daughters might notice.
Every dad wants the best for his children. Make sure they know about the Eucharist.