Abide in Christ and we are in Him
According to John 6:56, “abide in Christ and He in us” means to eat His Flesh and to drink His Blood, which Catholics refer to partaking the Eucharist. Unlike Protestants and “Bible only” Christians, Catholics believe that the bread and wine, after consecration, truly becomes the Body and Blood of Christ following what Christ Himself said:
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
The Greek word translated as “indeed” in RSV is alethos, an adverb, which means “truly” or “of a truth”. Compare the usage of the same word (in bold) that appears in:
And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.
Do you think Christ’ disciples (in Matthew 14:33) and the Samaritans (in John 4:42) considered Christ only as symbol or representative of Son of God and the world’s Saviour? Christ told the Jews:
If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples.
Certainly Christ did not mean they are pseudo disciples or disciples only by name/title. When the angle rescued Peter from jail and took him out of the city, Peter first though he saw a vision, not a reality (Acts 12:9) and later when he realized it was real he said:
“Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angle and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
Thus Catholics have scriptural reason to believe that Christ did not speak symbolically or metaphorically in John 6:53-56. It is hard teaching as the Scripture testifies (John 6:60) – in fact many of his disciples left Him because of this statement (John 6:66).