The Roman Catholic Church believes that Jesus turns bread and wine into his body and blood at Mass/Eucharist so that they are not bread and wine any more. He allegedly revealed the doctrine in John 6 and it is this we are concerned with now. Later on he allegedly did the transformation for the first time at the Last Supper.

It seems to some that it is a mistake to say that Jesus’ words, “My flesh is true and genuine food,” in John 6 disprove the mystical changing of the bread into Jesus on the grounds that they are in the present tense and the Eucharist hadn’t been instituted yet.

Catholic answer, "Jesus may be saying that he is ready to be our real food. You can point to a living cow and say that it is food indeed. It is food but not prepared food."

But against this it seems probable that Jesus meant prepared food for that is food in the fullest and clearest sense of the word for the word translated eat when he said eat my flesh is really the word for gnaw or chew. I would accept this for Jesus was speaking to ordinary people not theologians who overthink stuff and wildly misinterpret straightforward texts in the name of ideology. It would have to be just spiritual food and not real eating of the body of Jesus. Why? Because even then according to transubstantiation believers Jesus was not physically prepared food for they teach that only the resurrection body of Jesus could take on the appearance of bread and wine in the Eucharist.

Jesus in the Gospel of John says that the Holy Spirit cannot come until he ascends to Heaven first (John 6:62 and 7:38 and 16:7). He says a few verses after saying that his flesh is real food that he hasn’t ascended yet. His flesh cannot be food then until the Spirit comes for the Spirit is the presence of God the true food of the soul. That is one reason why the Church says that only the risen body and blood of Jesus are our spiritual food at Mass. The present tense then indicates symbolism.

So it is not food in the form of bread. It is not spiritual food in any sense. So what is it?

He then says the flesh is useless and can’t give life without the spirit which means his own flesh for the context is about him ascending bodily into Heaven to send the Spirit. Jesus corrected anybody that thought he was literally going to feed people with his body and blood.

The interpretation that says Jesus meant his saving death on the cross is our food and his blood which makes up for our sins is our drink is correct. It is no different from how we eat the flesh of people who take risks having vaccine tests so that we will be safe from disease and who die.

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