How to Help Non-Catholics Understand the Eucharist (The Patrick Madrid Show)

A listener named David from Milwaukee finds himself in a dilemma that hinges on the core belief of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. His friend, not sharing this belief, has caused some discord.

Patrick Madrid shares the Bread of Life Discourse from John Chapter 6, as a way to help David explain this to his friend. Imagine the scene: Jesus, a magnet for thousands, feeds a hungry crowd with just a few loaves and fish, leaving an abundance of leftovers. This miraculous act sets the stage for Jesus to teach a profound, if not controversial, lesson.

As Jesus transitions from feeding the crowd to feeding souls, He makes a bold statement: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.”

But here’s where it gets interesting! Jesus isn’t just talking about physical hunger or earthly bread. He’s making a jaw-dropping connection to consuming His flesh and blood for eternal life. Understandably, this causes quite the commotion among the crowd. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they wonder.

Patrick Madrid emphasizes that Jesus is not speaking metaphorically. He’s laying down a spiritual gauntlet: His flesh and blood are real food and drink, necessary for eternal life. This claim leads many of Jesus’ followers to hit the road, unable to stomach such a radical teaching.

Simon Peter, ever the impulsive one, steps up with a declaration of faith, basically saying, “Where else would we go, Jesus? You’ve got the words of eternal life.”

So, what’s the takeaway for anyone else scratching their heads over the Eucharist? Patrick Madrid suggests that the departure of many disciples over this teaching underscores its literal truth. If it were merely symbolic, why the mass exodus?

Patrick wraps up with a compelling call to see the Eucharist not as a stumbling block but as the ultimate expression of Jesus’ love and sacrifice. It’s a divine mystery that binds Catholics to Christ in a way that’s as real and nourishing as the bread and wine consecrated during Mass. Let’s not take this amazing gift for granted.

Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.