John 6:53-57

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

In what sense people outside of the Catholic Church have no life in them? What is the Catholic interpretation of this verse?

  • @Constantthin It looks like you have enough to provide an answer. Comments are ephemeral. – KorvinStarmast Jul 11 '17 at 3:02
  • 1 Cor 1:18 (NIV) The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – Constantthin Apr 5 '20 at 6:59

The Catholic Church believes that communities not in communion with the Pope also signify life in them, regardless of their view of the Eucharist as sacrament, sacrifice, or symbol.

1400 Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, "have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders."239 It is for this reason that, for the Catholic Church, Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible. However these ecclesial communities, "when they commemorate the Lord's death and resurrection in the Holy Supper . . . profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory."240 http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c1a3.htm#1384

  • so it means that the ones living outside of the Church, don't live life with the truth wich is Christ? They don't have the life of truth in themselves. The truth is available only through the Eucharist. By receiving you proclaim the truth that holds the true life in itself. Hmm, that makes perfect sense. Thanks! – Grasper Jul 10 '17 at 15:08
  • @Grasper An additional search term you can use for this line of thinking is "Fullness of Truth." (there's even a movement named for that, but there are a variety of church documents that cover the Fullness of Truth as it applies to the catholic church. – KorvinStarmast Jul 10 '17 at 21:42

I believe the counterpoint in the next verse explains it:

Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. (John 6:54-55)

They lack eternal life, which John 17:3 defines:

Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

St Augustine, a Doctor of the Church, teaches in his 26th Tractate on John

He spoke these words, not certainly to corpses, but to living men. Whereupon, lest they, understanding it to mean this life, should strive about this thing also, He going on added, Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life. Wherefore, he that eats not this bread, nor drinks this blood, has not this life; for men can have temporal life without that, but they can noways have eternal life.

  • What does it mean to lack eternal life in this life on Earth? How does one know he is lacking eternal life? – Grasper Jul 10 '17 at 13:25
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    @Grasper See the John 17:3 quote I've added to the answer. Thus, to lack external life means to lack knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. – Geremia Jul 10 '17 at 20:42
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    @Grasper The passage does not say "lack eternal life in this life on Earth." You seem to be adding something to the scripture that isn't there. It might be useful to ask at Biblical Hermeneutics (if it isn't already answered there) about that passage in detail so that you can see how it came to us from the original Greek. – KorvinStarmast Jul 10 '17 at 21:44
  • @Grasper I just had a look; numerous John 6 references at BH, and some good answers. This one touches on a bit of what you are asking about but you may want to do your own search. – KorvinStarmast Jul 10 '17 at 21:54

John 6:57 has the answer:

As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me.

We recieve the life of Jesus Christ, that is, we recieve the Life, in our body and soul when we partake of the Eucharist, which is partaking in "the body and ...the blood of the Lord" (1 Cor 10:16; 11:27).

  • so how or what way are the people dead who don't receive the Eucharist on a weekly basis? – Grasper Aug 17 '17 at 14:29
  • They don't have the life of Christ in their soul, which is something of an invigoration for their regenerated soul still hampered by the heaviness and temptation of the flesh on which it is clothed (Wis 9:15; Rom 7:22-23). They are dead in the sense they don't have the energy or life of the soul in the form of spiritual helps, given when we recieve Our Lord in the Eucharist. The Eucharist spiritually fortifies us against all sin. It is that which the Manna, which kept the Israelites in the desert 'alive', foreshadowed, as Jesus said. Since they died, He means spiritual nourishment foremostly. – Sola Gratia Aug 17 '17 at 14:41

In these last days, Jesus is sharing the "bread" of life and the "cup" with His disciples/believers/Church. This BREAD/flesh is the WORD which gives us wisdom and understanding given through the Holy Spirit to those who have already received Him; the understanding of scripture especially what was veiled/hidden is being revealed in these last days. Please note: it is being revealed bit by bit as we obey God;s law and live a righteous life with the help of The Holy Spirit. This is something no one can fake because it is direct from God. This bread can also be described as the "Hidden Manna" from heaven. Those receiving it are being purified by the divine fire - the baptism of the Holy Spirit. For example, in my case, I go through something and receive understanding afterwards. This I can explain is like when Jesus was at the mount of transfiguration, He told His disciples not to tell anyone what they had seen until He (Jesus) was resurrected. In the same manna, the spiritual "staff" that God has appointed to prepare us; the two anointed witnesses who is the Holy Spirit (Elijah) and the Word of God (Jesus - read John 1) are giving understanding afterwards. So the flesh is the WORD which according to JOHN 1 is made flesh for the edification of the CHURCH. John says the word was made flesh and dwelt among us, but darkness did not recognize it. Being in darkness means being spiritually dead. It means that your spirit has not been awakened. When our spirit is awakened, it goes through a period of transformation, and then it is joined with the Spirit of God and becomes alive. This is the "marriage" of the lamb - the joining together of our spirit and the Spirit of God. The WORD is from God's mouth. "Man cannot live by bread/scripture alone but by every word that comes from God's mouth". This WORD is uttered by God via His angel. "God himself will come down with a loud shout and the TRUMPET of the archangel". Trumpets are messages. For example, in my case, the word that was uttered to me one early morning was "TURN ON THE LIGHT". It was uttered by God in the presence of His council (spiritual)- and we all know that God creates by His word. eg, in creation of the universe, He said "let there be light". God is creating the new regenerated man in these end times. End of this age. Deuteronomy 4:12 - "Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice". The fire mentioned here is the refining fire, or the baptism of the Holy Spirit. When I heard those words, I had gone to bed crying because I was going through this baptism, but at the time I did not understand what was happening to me. 2) The CUP is the suffering we are sharing with Jesus - which includes the baptism of fire by the Holy Spirit. Why is the Holy Spirit one of the 2 witnesses? Because He is playing the role of prophet and only He can call for the fire from heaven - the consuming divine fire that refines. So, true disciples of Jesus are sharing in this cup of suffering. The "cup" that will be poured to the world without mixture is the suffering (wrath of God) that is coming to the whole world to those not sealed after the grace period is over. It is without mixture/undiluted because the "cup" we are sharing now with Jesus is mixed/diluted with God's mercy/grace. I hope I answered your question. God bless you.

  • Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. Meanwhile, if you want anyone to read your answer, I would strongly suggest that you break it up into paragraphs. (Hit Enter twice to make a new paragraph.) Few people will bother reading through a "wall of text" such as you have made here. – Lee Woofenden Jul 26 '17 at 18:07
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    I am fairly certain that this does not represent the Catholic viewpoint. – bradimus Jul 26 '17 at 18:23
  • you think your answer makes sense but I bet not even every member of your church would agree with what you wrote. Too many quotes, slashes and made up words and wrong bible reference. – Grasper Jul 26 '17 at 19:02

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