There are many takes on what Jesus meant when He told His listeners, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:51). I think He was serious because He repeated Himself (John 6: 53 and 6: 56). When His listeners walked away saying, “This is a hard saying and who can listen to it” (John 6:60), Jesus did not ask them to come back; He merely asked Peter and His apostles “Do you also wish to go away? (John 6:67)
The Witness of a Devout Priest
This really is a hard saying. I had problems believing it myself. Catholics and Orthodox believe in the Real Presence, but even then, not many Catholics seem totally convinced of it. Usually at Mass, I was in the habit of going up to receive the Eucharist, walking back while a psalm was sung, and continuing to listen to the prayers of the Mass. But, as I look back on my own Mass attendance, I never got personally involved with the Mass. I could tell others that I really believed the Catholic Faith, but there was always some reservation in my mind.