I have one question that I am truly curious to find an answer (or two or three!), and the question is this:
Why did they leave?
I am, of course, talking about in John 6 after the Bread of Life Discourse:
As a result of this, many his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. (John 6:66)As I learned more about my Catholic faith a few years ago, I constantly meditated on this passage, until it clicked with me why they left - and since then, I've never been able to waver from (even when I've thought I wanted to!) the beautiful teaching on the Real Presence.
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:52-58)So I am truly curious. I really do want to know how non-Catholic Christians read this passage of Scripture and interpret this situation where many of Christ's disciples completely abandoned him. Why did they choose to leave right then?
Catholics can feel free to chime in with your thoughts - especially if you didn't always believe in the Real Presence - but I'd love to hear a lot of insight from non-Catholics too.
I am looking for an open, honest, and respectful discussion, so please be kind to each other. :)