St. John cries “Be Catholic!” 2

St. John was Jesus’ most beloved Disciple. John 6: 52-59 is typical of the exhortations in which St. John cries “Be Catholic!” He speaks to Protestants of every age:
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.
The Jews in this passage were the very First Protestants. They had been following Jesus, impressed by His teaching and His miracles. But, when He said “. . . unless you eat the Flesh of The Son of Man and drink His Blood, you do not have life in you.”, they pulled away, preferring their first version of Protestantism. The same process continues. Protestants in our age, as in every age, avoid Christ’s clear command. They ignore, even as St. John cries “Be Catholic!”

The “Somewhat Christian”, Protestants of every age, repeat variations of “I believe in Jesus and The Bible!” often with hands waving wildly in the air. Those who “know more than Jesus”, when considering such passages as “. . . unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood you do not have life in you.” begin to murmur. Many gravitate toward groups of “Somewhat Christians” where all avoid such disconcerting passages.

Jesus, however, goes on with the language that separates the semi-believers: “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.”
It’s hard to get much clearer than that. The “first Protestants”, the Jews who went away murmuring when they heard “Whoever eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life. . .”, had, at least, this excuse: The Last Supper had not happened. They did not realize that Jesus was starting a church “Thou art Peter and on this rock I build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” They did not know that, in The Only Church He Founded, priests ordained in a living link with the Apostles would be empowered to bring about the Miracle of Transubstantiation. They would be given the awesome power to bring about the invisible transformation of bread and wine into His Body and Blood.

In every age, His words “If you do not eat My Body and drink My Blood you do not have life in you.” would separate sheep from goats, Catholics from others.In every generation, His Words would separate the “Somewhat Christians” from those who believed and obeyed fully enough to have “eternal life”.

As this passage ends, we hear again as St. John cries “Be Catholic!” Jesus repeated the basic teaching so that only the most stubborn and self-righteous would fail to understand the command, “Be Catholic!”
“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.”
Did St. John or the Disciples invent these teachings that would soon be explained at The Last Supper, the first Catholic Communion? No. The last verse tells us from Whom these teachings came, and where: “These things He said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.”

For the sake of our souls, we must share as St. John cries “Be Catholic!”