- any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken
into the bbody to sustain life,provide energy, promote growth, etc.
- more or less solid nourishment, as distinguished from liquids.
- a particular kind of solid nourishment: a breakfast food; dog food.
- whatever supplies nourishment to organisms: plant food.
- anything serving for consumption or use: food for thought.
So when Jesus says For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed [cf. Jn 6:55], he really means that his flesh is food [for us] as we understand it.
So there is living body and food that nourishes that body except in Holy Communion, there is a paradox, for while we are nourished,
"Ordinary food is consumed and becomes that which consumes it. In the
Eucharist, we consume God and become that which we consume." cf. The
Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist: The Eucharist and Its
Effects (2000-2012), James H. Dobbins, citing the work This Tremendous
Lover (1989), by Dom Eugene Boylan.
The Body we are turned into is none other than to be in an ever increasing communion with the Church, which is the [Mystical] Body of Christ, His Bride:
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation
[communion] in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it
not a participation in the body of Christ? [1 Cor 10: 16-17]
This brings us to 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 [cf. Jn 6:53]. That life in us is Christ’s own:
it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me [cf. Gal 2:20]
Returning to the Church, the Body of Christ, being the Bride of Christ. Groom and Bride become one body [flesh] when they marry(cf. Gn 2:24 and Mt 19: 5-6).
Could this have been a reference to the Passover Lamb of which the Israelites were supposed to eat all of it? What is the common Protestant understanding of this? Do some traditions associate this with Communion?:
A. The symbolism is not opposed to the Catholic position but it is not its explanation.
Explanation from THE SACRED PASCHAL TRIDUUM (cf. Daily Roman Missal According to the Roman Missal, Third Edition)
THE MASS OF THE LORD'S SUPPER (HOLY THURSDAY)
At this supper on the night he was betrayed, the LORD Jesus, loving
those who were his own in the world even to the end, offered his
body and blood to the Father under the appearances of bread and wine,
gave them to the apostles to eat and drink, then enjoined the apostles
and their successors in the priesthood to offer them in return.
This Mass is, first of all, the memorial of the institution of the
Eucharist, that is of the LORD's Passover, by which under sacramental
signs he perpetuated among us the sacrifice of the New Law
CELEBRATION OF THE LORD'S PASSION (GOOD FRIDAY)
On this day when "Christ our Paschal Lamb was sacrificed" (1 Cor
5:7), what had long been promised in signs and figures was at last
revealed and brought to fulfillment. The true lamb replaced the
symbolic lamb, and many offerings of the past gave way to the single
sacrifice of Christ.
Summary of the Catholic position: while the LORD is the true Paschal Lamb [of God] replacing the symbolic lamb of the LORD's Passover, his body (flesh) and blood that we eat and drink is not flesh and blood because of the symbolism with the Passover of the LORD's lamb, but actually his body and blood under the [appearances/] sacramental signs of [the consecrated] bread and wine.
Concluding, just as flesh the lamb of the LORD's Passover was eaten, the body of the true Paschal Lamb is to be eaten.The symbolism is not opposed to the Catholic position but it is not its explanation.