This proposed explanation is based on a misunderstanding (as I am persuaded it is) of St John vi.63: "The flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken are spirit and are life." Some in early as well as later times have interpreted these words: "By My life-giving flesh and blood I did not really mean flesh at all, for it could do you no good: I meant My spiritual, life-giving teaching." But this explanation renders Our Lord's strong insistence upon the figure - one may venture to say the misleading figure - of flesh and blood quite unintelligible. It is more in accordance with the whole context and the Greek words to understand "The flesh profiteth nothing" as equivalent to "Mere flesh, flesh of itself - profiteth nothing." Then the whole verse will mean, "Mere flesh, as you naturally think of it, profits nothing. But the things I have spoken to you of - the flesh and the blood of the glorified Son of Man (Jn 6:62) - are something more than mere flesh and blood: they are spirit and (therefore) life." ...

Of course it remains true that the words of God are spiritual food and a real nourishment of the intelligence, as "the flesh and blood of Christ" are of the whole of mankindL cf. Jer xv.15, Ezek. iii.1-3, Ps xix.10, Rev x.9. Indeed it is a matter which needs very careful consideration that the sacramental feeding cannot profitably continue without the "reading, marking, learning and inwardly digesting" of the word of God. Unless our intelligence is continually being spiritually nourished and enlightened, our whole nature is starved and withered, and the sacramental nourishment is comparatively ineffectual.

Bp Charles Gore, The Body of Christ, pp. 290-291.

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