John 6 verse 53

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Hello, I have a question.

In John 6 , 53 it basically says that unless we eat/drink of Christ we have no life. What is my reply to protestants etc who state that according to the catholic doctrine , this means that unless one consumes the eucharist we have no hope of eternal life. It literally seems to say that.

Essentially Chirst seems to be saying that eating the eucharist is a requirement for salvation and those who don’t eat of him(the eucharist), cannot have eternal life.

I appreciate your response.

The Eucharist unites us with Christ which is necessary for salvation. But, similar to Church teaching on Baptism, one may obtain this union with Christ by desire. A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture explains: “That necessity is absolute, in the sense that without the ‘thing’ or grace of the Eucharist there is no salvation, for the Eucharist signifies, effects, and perfects the unity of Christ’s mystic body, outside of which no one can be saved. Total deliberate refusal to eat the flesh of Christ would exclude from supernatural life and entail damnation. But the grace of union can be obtained by desire – personal desire, in the case of adults, and the maternal desire of the Church in the case of baptized infants.”
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