Friends

Passover Lamb: A True Story

by JesseRay on April 12, 2019

  1. Contributed by my son Jesse Ray a while ago but worthy of reposting…

I arrived on the scene with my gun and stoically loaded in some self-defense rounds (although I was clearly not in danger). I did not lavish the idea of slaughtering a lamb, but my friend and new-farmer, Pat, called and sheepishly asked for some help. I guess he thought I was qualified since I had butchered last year’s deer with the help of my family.

It took a while for me to prepare the surroundings, I had never killed something so large, at such close range. During these few minutes I had time think about the gravity of what was about to happen.

Of course my mind took me back to the Jews and passover. Remember, the Bible is not just filled with stories, but with accounts of historical events. These events that we are familiar with actually happened. The Word of God prescribed, no dictated, the killing of a lamb. For the Jews, the lamb was not just dinner. The blood of the lamb was spread on the horizontal and vertical wood of the door frames (of course we recognize this as a foreshadowing of Christ’s blood dripping from His wooden cross).

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(Picture: Present day slaughter of Passover Lamb by Samaritans in Israel) 

Exodus 12:21-22
Then Moses called all the elders of Israel, and said to them, “Select lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood which is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.

We all know that the consequence of sin is death, yet today we do not always see or feel that direct connection. Before Jesus, the Lamb of God, came as our final sacrifice, a cute, woolly lamb <baaa>, had to die in expiation for sins. The Jews symbolically placed their own sins on the head of the lamb before it was killed in Leviticus 1. The male sheep was chosen from the flock for its spotlessness, just as Christ, sinless and perfect, died for our sins.

We Catholics are blessed with the sacrament of confession, a very quick and clean way of cleansing sins from our soul. Well, let me tell you there was nothing quick or clean about killing a lamb. If we had to go through this every time we sinned I would expect people would either sin less, or would carry more sins around on their hearts.

Passover (doorpost)I tell the following story, not for the sake of gore, but because it was a very raw and spiritual experience. You should stop here if the thought of blood makes you queasy.

I was compelled to pause, and say a prayer thanking God for this animal and for the gift of it’s life. At first it all happened quite fast: The the gun popped, a red spot appeared on the lambs head, the lamb dropped. I was glad that was over with.

What happened next surprised me. All living things try to avoid death, and even after the lethal blow, the lamb was not going to die without a fight. I apologize, for the detail, but far more blood than I expected began pouring out of the sheep’s mouth and nose. The famous painting “Adoration of the Lamb” by van Eyck flashed in my brain, (of course in the painting the sheep is standing, but the flow of blood is clearly key in the comparison).

My friend Pat, the instigator of this whole event, took action (and large knife) holding the sheep down with the full weight of his body and slit the throat. As more blood emerged it was clear that the bloody descriptions in the old testament will never be void of imagery for me anymore.

PETA people refuse to eat lamb chops or wear sheepskin because of (I assume) the violence of slaughter. (or maybe they just need some cause to distract them from the evils of abortion and euthanasia that many support). Before any scriptural lessons, I think seeing that this tasty protein-source doesn’t start out in a Styrofoam package at Meijers is good to know.

But seriously, what kind of a “merciful” God would order His people to do something so violent and base? The answer points to the Eucharist, and is so deep that we need to understand God’s plan of salvation is exposed in history and recorded in scripture. Now we just need to know where to look.

Adoration of the Lamb_van_Eyck_insetMy dad, Steve Ray, teaches about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and its Biblical foundations; he can speak for hours about the beauty and reality in his talk entitled Defending the Eucharist: You are What You Eat. The whole talk can be found here, and is really a great listen.

I pray that you will all draw closer to our Lord and find joy in His Cross and Resurrection.

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With Sisters of Mary…

by Steve Ray on November 11, 2018

Great evening premiere of our new “Elijah and Elisha” documentary earlier this year with the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist!

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Fr. Andrew Apostoli Goes to Meet His Lord

by Steve Ray on December 13, 2017

A good friend has gone to be with his Lord. Fr. Andrew Apostoli died in the early hours of December 13.

Many of us remember him joining us our Lourdes and Fatima pilgrimage in May of this year. He was a great teacher, a joy and a light for a lost world.

May God receive him quickly to glory. Thanks for all you did Fr. Andrew!

Watch his talk with us at Fatima, May 2017: https://youtu.be/o97fjIHJQ1I

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Why I Like Thomas Williams and Breitbart News

June 8, 2017

Yeah, I know it gets a bad rap in the local “Main Street Media” but if you shake off their bias and take a closer look it’s a pretty good place to find out what’s really going on. My friend Thomas Williams is the Rome correspondent and I have nothing but respect for this guy.

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We’ve corresponded and known about each other but yesterday we met at the South Carolina Men’s Conference. I love converts and his story is especially interesting, converting from an Anglican priest in England to a Catholic priest in South Carolina. He’s finishing up a book and the Magi and we discussed plans for a pilgrimage […]

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Met Governor Huckabee in Israel

February 18, 2017

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Dear Friend Dcn. Alex Jones, RIP

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I remember the call. The voice on the other end of the line said, “Are you Steve Ray?” I said, “Yes, why?” The voice said, “Of all the men in all the world I need to talk with you.” In response I said, “Who are you and why do you need to speak with me?” […]

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What in the World is Patrick Coffin Doing?

October 2, 2016

Patrick Coffin has been the host of Catholic Answers Live for seven and a half years. He raised the show to stellar heights but September 30th was his last day. He is leaving Catholic Answers for new ventures in media. You can watch his 3-minute video for an overview of his new media projects. It might […]

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Friends and Family: Our 2016 Trip to India

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What wonderful folks here in Kerala India! What a joyous two weeks. Heading home on Wednesday.   … Powered by Cincopa Podcast Hosting for Business solution.Final Days in India 2016flash 16cameramake Appleheight 480dir: 100alt: 12lat: 10.290864long: 76.337622orientation 1camerasoftware 9.3.3originaldate 7/29/2016 4:13:53 PMwidth 640cameramodel iPhone 6sflash 16cameramake Appleheight 640orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS4 originaldate 7/25/2016 7:49:45 […]

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An Untimely Death: Fr. Shane Tharp, my dear friend, RIP

October 17, 2015

One of the most brilliant man I’ve ever known. And intellect of my new mental ability, develop faith, tremendous humor and a great Catholic priest. He has been a chaplain with us and pilgrimages many times, and I’ve done parish missions for him several times and beyond all that he was a dear and trusted […]

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A Letter that Brought Tears of Joy to my Eyes. Hope you enjoy it too.

August 21, 2015

UPDATE: I was able to stop at ave Maria Radio today and meet Erik. What a handsome gentle giant. We hugged and talked for a while and I was delighted. ************************ “I’m sure you get tons of emails about how you’ve touched peoples lives. I would have liked to tell you this story in person, […]

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Bishop Conley writes about my Turkish Convert Friend Okan

February 27, 2015

If you read my blog regularly you remember that a friend of mine for over 15 years converted to Christianity and the Catholic Church about a month or two ago. He came here to my house and received the Rite of Election. You can read the post here with pictures.  Turkey is 99.9% Muslim so […]

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My Friend from Istanbul becomes a Christian!

February 1, 2015

Okan and I have worked together for 15 years with filming projects, pilgrimages and more in Turkey. He was born and raised in Turkey which is 99.9% Muslim.  Over the years I kept telling Okan, “Some day you will be a Christian.” In November 2014 while in Turkey on our St. Paul Mediterranean Cruise, Okan […]

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Our Friend Fr. Benedict Groeschel died Yesterday

October 4, 2014

It is with sadness that I mention that father Benedict died last night. Janet and I had gotten very fond of him and spent time in his retreat center. We will treasure the times we spent with him. Because of his habit and his beard I told him one time that every time I saw […]

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Help Tom Peters the Papist

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From and friend and fellow worker with the great young man Tom Peters: On a warm summer night four months ago, I received some terrible news.  As I was preparing to go to sleep that July night, my phone vibrated on my bedside table. A new text message. Then another. Then another. Something was urgent. […]

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With Friends on the Sea

November 5, 2013

It is very infrequent that I get to see some of my best friends since they are as busy as me. But once in a while we are fortunate and are speakers together at the same conferences. This time we are on a Caribbean Cruise and one of the great joys is to be with […]

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