The Guardian Angel: What does it take to save a baby

Posted by John Benko - February 17th, 2011

When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
11 Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, 12 and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. 13 And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

Why would this article start with such a verses? Have you ever wondered what Jesus is asking of HIS Bride?

Are we still worshiping and doubting? When Jesus spoke to the eleven disciples, was He speaking to the Bishops and Priests today, and then through them to HIS children?

You see, Jesus knows that when we make disciples of all nations, lives and souls will be saved. When we follow his commands, lives and souls will be saved. Jesus is willing to be with anyone who is obedient and seeks to be HIS and start a relationship, and HE will manifest Himself through them, wishing that none would perish.

If we claim Christ, then we are to be the hands, we are to be the heart, we are to be the rightly formed conscience so that Jesus can work through us to stop the abominations.

There are six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him; Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood; A heart that plots wicked schemes, feet that run swiftly to evil, The false witness who utters lies, and he who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19

As I was in Phoenix over the last few weeks, I have been blessed to meet some true brothers and sisters in Christ that go to Mass daily, say the Rosary daily, and say the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily.

As I watched them, they tried to be like Jesus, asking for the will of our Father in Heaven, and then getting up from their prayers denying themselves and embracing their crosses to follow Jesus. Some studying to show themselves approved.

Some helping the poor, some taking the Eucharist to the sick and disabled, and the list could go on. Know that such pockets of Catholics are all across the world, that you are not alone in your walk with Christ, and that someone’s life and soul is in your path, and if you will use the gifts that God has given you they may stand some day in eternity with HIM.

So what does all of this have to do with saving the life of a baby, and how does it affect me. On this past Monday I went to Planned Parenthood in Phoenix, where they are Slaughtering the innocent, remember that is an abomination to God.

I was with five other people when I showed up with my daughter to show her what Jesus will do when we are faithful.

The first person that I went up to was a Priest, a true Shepherd that had picked up HIS cross and was willing to lead sheep and let Jesus manifest Himself through him.

Father and I immediately said a rosary together, and then I observed the ladies counseling a black lady and tell her about Margaret Sanger and her desire to exterminate the blacks and all minorities.

The black lady was watching a baby and two toddlers in the back seat of a car, and she said that her sister had went inside and was going to have and abortion.

They talked to her about how the black babies were the group with the highest percentage of deaths by abortion.

She said that her sister had already made up her mind, but when she heard about the agenda to kill the black babies, she sent a text to her sister inside, and the three ladies said they would watch the children if she wanted to go save her sister and her baby.

The baby and mother came out unharmed with the sister and they left, having been prayed for and ministered to, and given options for life by those that heard the words of Jesus. A baby was saved and more than one soul was affected and brought closer to Jesus.

This Shepherd, and these brothers and sisters in Christ will not have to hear the following sentence, because they have seen and heard, and then became doers of the Word.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a person building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built. But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.” Luke 6:46-49

Again, this baby and mother were saved to give honor and glory to our Father in Heaven.. There would have been death if this Shepherd and Christians had not made HIS words biography in the streets. Now I have to ask you, how many lives and souls will be lost if you and I stay at home. You and I must be there to lift up the arms of the Shepherds and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ with our words and our actions to be about our Father’s business.

So are you ready to serve the King of Kings? Are your eyes seeing and your ears hearing what it takes to save a baby? Pray, Stand, and Act, lives and souls will be affected for the Lord.

Then you will have the opportunity to hear these words from the Lion of Judah. “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Pray, read this again, and then “go” like Jesus tells us, and let God use YOU. Even though we may not see it, there is a plan, and you and I were born for this moment in time.

“Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” Matthew 5:16

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The Catholic Defender: More Rosary Patrol Miracles

Posted by John Benko - February 17th, 2011

My time in Iraq was filled with prayer, I was given so much by so many.

These stories are intended to inspire you as God does answer prayer and he does work miracles. Sometimes we do not always understand the outcome.

Sometimes the Lord may say no. We can always approach Our Lord in confidence as a child.

If anyone out there has a story they would like to share, please let me know. God is so good

On 30 October, 2009 this request was given:

Would you add baby Rylee to your intentions this next 30 days. I posted about it in another thread.

I responded just a short time later:

Most certainly, thank you for remembering us here!!! May the Lord who is the true Physician bring healing into this family and baby Rylee. I believe in the power of prayer and the power of the Rosary. All of this in accordance to God’s Holy Will!

On 2 Nov, All Souls Day, I received the following response:

Thanks for asking about Rylee. The last update I have is from Saturday. My friend visited them Saturday morning. She said that Rylee is still in ICU. Her brain swelling is going down, which they want. She will remain in the drug-induced coma to help her brain rest as much as possible. Surgery to repair her skill will eventually bet he goal, but that date won’t be set for some time.

In addition to Rylee, will you add her mother, Robin to that prayer list. Because there is a head injury, DFCS/social services investigates. Robin has been through 2 interviews with them so far. Besides worrying about the health of her newborn, she now has fears that DFCS will take her older child from her because of this. She worries that they’ll go to her house when she’s not there and take her older daughter away. She feels a gut-wrenching amoutn of guilt. Please pray that God takes this pain away from Robin…she is going to hold on to it because she feels so guilty.

I will keep you updated as to Rylee’s condition.. as well as how mom is coping.

Thank you for your prayers.

My response:

Thanks, that has to be a tough burden to bear, and I don’t have much use for child services. Sometimes they look for excuses to give reason for their jobs. A lot of innocent families have been targeted by them.

And another prayer issue the Rosary Patrol was praying about:

New update about the helicopter crash, the Doctors are finding that our Soldiers brother is doing ok, they may release him in 24 hours. His buddy does have a Fractured Spine, but he is able to move his fingers and toes. Please keep him in your prayers!!!

I received the following post on 4 Nov:

I will definitely add Fr. Wood and PFC Autry to my prayer list. Speaking of prayer lists, an update on Rylee is that it has been confirmed that she has a blood clot in her brain. They took her off the ventilator this morning, but she didn’t do well. She’s stable right now. The first goal is to get her out of the drug-induced coma, then deal deal with the blood clot. Please keep the family in your prayers.

eta: another update as of Wednesday late afternoon – Rylee is off the ventilator, off of sedation and her mom is holding her!!!! The CAT scan is also showing that the blood clot is dissolving! God is working a miracle before our eyes! Thank you so much for your prayers!

I responded:

That is awesome!!! The Rosary Patrol will continue through November!!! That is amazing, I will have to tell Gigi!!!! Kind of reminds me of our gunshot victim! He’s doing great also!!! And your Daughter’s arm too!! God is soooo good!

The people involved in the helicopter crash seems to be doing better even as more information come out about the accident. The Brother does have spinal injury and has a cast for him, but he is expected to recover. That is good news as well as his crew mate.

I received this news on 5 Nov:

Praise God!!!!

I have even more news on Riley. Here is an update from her Mom that that was written late last night and in my inbox this morning:

Rylee is on the road to recovery, miracles do happen and this is definitely

Yesterday, Tuesday had some of the darkest moments of this entire ordeal and

at the end of the day there was light.

With the discovery of the bleeding and other complications we were informed
by the nursing staff that Rylee was going to remain in ICU for some time
maybe weeks and we should start to select the nurses we liked to oversee her

care, the situation seemed to be worsening. This was not what the Doctors
had forecasted.

As we were trying to wrap our heads around what we needed to do to care for
Rylee the end of the day brought positive change. As the evening went on so
did her improvements, to the point of amazing the Doctors and Nursing staff.

Today Wednesday she is off most of her medication, breathing tubes etc. She
spent the night wide awake not sleeping the entire night.

After meeting with the Doctors today the blood on the brain is shrinking,
meaning is has stopped and they said the body will start to break it down
and it will vanish.

As it stands now if she eats well tomorrow and her blood pressure gets under
control they are going to move her out of
ICU into a regular room for a few days just for monitoring and then

Thank You everyone for your thoughts and prayers.

My response:

Please send the family the continued prayers from the Rosary Patrol in Iraq!!! This is good news. I even shared this with our Company Commander. Is this Family part of your Parish?

Another post:

The family is not part of my parish. In fact, the neighbor who is my friend through a faith-sharing women’s group at my parish, is not even a member of my parish. Sue is a member of Seekers, a faith-sharing women’s group, that meets at my parish every Wednesday morning. Sue is a member of another nearby Catholic Church but her good friend leads our Seekers group. Robin, the mother of Rylee, is neighbors with Sue. Sue is an absolutely WONDERFUL young woman who definitely shines Christ’s light. Speaking of Sue, I’d like to add her and her family to your intentions next month. She has a daughter who has severe allergies… to gluten of all things and thankfully when it was time for her to receive her First Holy Communion, someone in Seekers told Sue to just pray about her daughter receiving. Sue was despairing because her daughter’s whole life has been spent where she is “special” because of her dietary needs and she was so upset that there was a possibility that she wouldn’t be able to receive Jesus. She prayed and prayed that her daughter would not be “excluded” from receiving the Eucharist. Her prayers were answered shortly before her daughter was supposed to receive her First Holy Communion. She received a call where she learned that there was a nun who spent all night on a recipe for gluten-free hosts… and it was finally ready… and in time for Elizabeth to receive her First Holy Communion. It was truly a miracle… and Elizabeth has been able to receive Communion ever since. Praise God. So, next month, I’d love it if you’d add them to the Rosary Patrol Prayer intentions.

I responded on 6 November, you might recall an incident that happened at Ft. Hood:

Today, I had the opportunity to teach another Soldier how to pray the Rosary, it was their first time and it went very well. We dedicated the Rosary for the situation at Ft. Hood.

I know that Gigi for one will be exhausted as she got home after 1200 midnight and had to be back by 0700 this morning. The more I am finding out the more this was an act of terrorism.

This was posted to me on 6 Nov about Baby Rylee:

I have another Rylee update – it is much needed, I think.

My friend, Sue visited Rylee at the hospital yesterday. Robin, the mom, was cradling Robin her arms feeding her a bottle. She was wide awake, alert and even gave out a nice big burp. Her bandages were off of her head and her wounds from the attempted surgery are large but healing. She said it is a drastic change from Tuesday when the nurses didn’t leave Rylee’s side for five hours, her parents were asked to stay outside of the room, Rylee had turned blue, and the doctors were preparing them for a few more weeks in ICU. The improvements she’s made are truly miraculous. They are moving to a regular patient room and both Mom and especially Dad see God’s hand in this. Robin made a point to tell my friend that she was blessing her with holy water.

To the Rosary Patrol, thank you for your prayers. You are part of this miracle!

I was happy to respond:

That is awesome news, I’m glad that Baby Rylee continues to improve. Sounds like Mom is doing better too, what a terrible ordeal this has been. If their faith is stronger through this, that is the miracle God was wanting!!!

On 11 Nov I received further news:

Yes, I do have an update. Rylee is HOME!!! She began to have seizures over the weekend, but that was expected. She’s taking two medications to regulate them and doctors feel she can be home for now. Discussions about surgery on her skull will take place after awhile.

So… great news! Thank you for all of your prayers. The family i sever so grateful and appreciative! Bless you all!

I also received this post from another Defender of the Catholic faith:

What a wonderful confirmation and consolation for the Rosary Patrol… Thank you for all the recent inspiring postings and pictures, answered prayers and new requests…May Our Lord continue to use you for His Glory. May Our Blessed Mother continue to watch over you and yours.

I posted this on 23 Nov:

The following is a note from one of our Soldiers wanting to give an update concerning his Brother whom we have been praying for:

“My little brother Ashley, is recuperating after a helicopter crash in his home with his family in Jackson Missouri. The crash happened 3 weeks ago, 80 miles off the coast of Creole, Louisiana. Ashley has some cracked ribs, crushed vertebre, and little self-esteem as he is a proud pilot. confident in his flight skills. I spoke with him on the phone for over an hour a few days ago. I hadn’t spoken with him for that long in over 10 years, so that was quite a treat for me. Ashley is wearing a back brace and is being weaned off the medication he has to take. An investigation of the crash cleared Ashley of any error or wrongdoing, so that was a load off his shoulders and emotionally uplifting. Still in some pain, he is still resting and feeling better each day. Please keep praying for him and thanks to everyone for their prayers they have already said. Prayer is powerful as evidenced by this true story of survival and healing. Thank you and all the best”!

I want to echo this as well, thank you all for your continued prayers for all the Rosary Patrol dedication
s!!! God bless!

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The Catholic Defender: Rosary Patrol Miracles

Posted by John Benko - February 17th, 2011

When I speak of “Rosary Patrol Miracles”, I really mean Miracles God has shown through the use of the Rosary, which there are many from all over the world.

Anyone who is determined to pray the Rosary is part of Mary’s Army, the Rosary Patrol. The following are taken from “Defenders of the Catholic Faith” from the Thread, “The Catholic Defender in Iraq”.

I wrote this from Iraq on 12 April, 2009:

Tonight, a Soldier came to me and asked me how to pray the rosary. I gave him some items that some of you have sent me to hand out. He expects to join us tomorrow! God bless!!!

I wrote the following on April 13:

I’ve got a Soldier who is looking to make his first Confession in 5 years when Father visits us next!!! He prayed the rosary with us today enlisting officially in the Rosary Patrol! I also have a native Iraqi who is Muslim that is seeking to become Catholic! He plans to participate with us praying the rosary as well! This opportunity fell in my lap today and I am so thankful. If I had the opportunity, I think I could reach many more of them! We will go one person at a time.

If there are something like 17,000,000 fallen away Catholics in the United States, as a group, that would be the second largest group in the U.S. That’s larger than the largest Protestant Denomination, the Southern Baptist. Think of this, if 1% of those who have fallen would return with a simple invitation, that would be something near 200,000 people! Let’s do it, one person at a time. Jesus would leave the 99 to seek after the one lost. Once found, there is a huge party in heaven! The Angels rejoice!

I call this, “Operation Restore the Vineyard”!

PS, Lisa, I received the box today, but it got here on Easter!!! Thank you so much! I will be showing the movie, “The Passion of the Christ” tonight!!!

I wrote this on 17 April:

This is an update on the Soldier who has been away from the Church for 5 years. He has been coming to the Rosary, he’s part of the Rosary Patrol and he plans to see Father when he returns in a couple of weeks. He came to last Sundays Liturgy of the Word and enjoyed it. I can hear angels singing in heaven tonight!!!

I wrote this on 25 April:

The last two days I’ve had Soldiers come to me to ask about becoming Catholic!!! One of them prayed their first rosary today! A new member of the Rosary Patrol! He was Baptized as a Baby but that is all he knows so he will join my list for the Easter Vigil 2010 Mass! The other one has a marriage issue he will have to resolve. He wants to marry a Catholic but he is divorced. He was raised Methodist but he is now more non-denominational. I talked to him for a while and told him what he needs to do. First thing is to decide if he wants to be Catholic! Today, I had encourage this young Soldier, maybe 19 or 20 years old, to join us for the rosary. We pray it at the Chaplains office at noon everyday. I’ll show up there and wait a few minutes and if nobody shows up then I go a head and leave. Today, nobody showed up after about 10 minutes so I decided to get lunch. Remember, I had already prayed with a group at 05:00 in the morning. I was in the Aid Station, didn’t yet have a bite when this Soldier came into the Aid Station. He was late but wanted to do the Rosary. I didn’t hesitate, we went and prayed the rosary. This was his first one ever. He liked it so well, he will be back tomorrow as we will talk about the Easter Vigil 2010!!!

This was written on May 2, 2009 by one of the Rosary Patrol from California:

As I have said before CD you certainly raise the bar for us at home.

I read your post and think to myself who have I taught to pray the rosary lately. Who have I shared with lately that how I handle the stress of my current life situation is by prayer. So once again thank you for allowing us to be prayer partners with you and the rosary patrol.

Even though we participate with prayer and the wonders of technology I marvel at the bond you have with all your soldiers and also with the Iraqis you help. Praise God that you have a song on your lips. Thank God for your wife and that you each can offer up your time together for the good of our Country and yes the world. It is certainly a blessing that you can speak with Gigi regularly while you miss her presence and good cooking! It is almost a mixed blessing tho to be in communication but yet so far away when a loved one is in Harm’s Way. There is no way to comprehend the pain of repeated separation yet you are using it to help soldiers in ways that will help them their whole lives.

I was with Vets from the 187th AB REG CTA yesterday and what touches me most is how their experiences in combat, not nearly the duration of combat our present day soldiers have seen, and yet it marks their whole lives. CD you talk about the enemy of today and how his face has changed…makes me think of the many soldiers that became monks after WWII to integrate their war experience…Well you are handing these soldiers, who have the most combat experience in recent times, tools that help them now and will surely help them the rest of their lives….did I say that already….thanks for sharing the journey.

I wrote this on May 4:

Today has been a blessed day, all the gifts we received were fantastic! Tonight we prayed the rosary with 6 Soldiers one of them being an Iraqi Christian. It was his first Rosary!!! There will be many more! I received some rosaries today and two of the blue ones were used and given away. I was tempted to keep one of them but I gave it to someone more in need! That’s exactly what you would want and expect and it is the right thing to do!!! Thank you all for those great gifts. Tomorrow I plan to take some pics with some of the items given to Soldiers!!

Please keep us all in your prayers as there is a real enemy out there just abiding their time….

We are prayer warriors united in faith! The Rosary Patrol is picking up steam and I think it has much to do with all of your prayers. There are many who come in here just to browse and pray. We are heading towards 3500 views and of that, I know there is much prayer!!! That’s why I call this teamwork! Everyone here becomes a part of the adventures of the Rosary Patrol.

I wrote this on 7 May:

A good example of this can be seen with a new Medic I received yesterday. He has been Baptized and Confirmed a Catholic yet has never been to confession. He has not been to Mass since 2005, and he has been approached by many other groups talking down against the Church. He is now part of the Rosary Patrol, took part today for the first time!!! He plans to get himself right with the Catholic Church as I was able (through the Holy Spirit) to open his eyes on a lot of things.

Mrs Hicks is a great American and it is an honor to remember her Son as well as all of the others. Thank you for sharing with us that she sent a card to you! I truly do plan to post some pics probably Saturday as I want to get the action on Friday!!!

The following request begins on 9 May:

May I add someone else onto your prayer list as well?

Will you lift up Patrick Whaley in your prayers? He is a 23 year old GA Tech student who fought off attackers and they shot him in the back. He is currently in critical condition having sustained injuries to the stomach, lungs and liver. Patrick and his family used to attend my church. As an Eagle Scout project he built a beautiful prayer trail near our church. His mother was my first co-catechist.

I responded quickly : Most certainly! 30 days! Did they catch the shooters?

Response came back :

Not yet. They tried to get Patrick into their van, but he didn’t. That’s when they shot him. Another couple who happened to be getting into their vehicle at the time, were pushed aside and their vehicle carjacked. They dumped the vehicle blocks away… but attacked another male within a mile of Patrick’s attack. This guy they forced into their van. There were 3 of them. One remained in the van while the other 2 attacked the single man. He got into the van where they demanded his ATM card. He said he gave it up and didn’t look at their faces in hopes that they wouldn’t kill him. They dumped him off at a dead and street. The guy said they held the gun to his head and he started crying pleading for his life.. saying he’s got family, please. They shot him in the leg and ran off. As far as I know, they didn’t get them, but I’m not sure how much of a report Patrick was able to give. He’s on a respirator and I know that he was able to hand write notes to his family. He called his attackers cowards because they shot him in the back. That’s about all I know at this point.

The May 11 Rosary Patrol dedications were:

Rosary Patrol dedications for this week include:

Soldiers going outside the wire

The Iraqi/Afghanistan war fronts, military and civilian peace and safety

For families separated do to deployment

For our own families (Gigi)

For SGT Hicks, PFC Spencer, and Jay-D who died in Iraq 28 April 2007 and their families

For Sarah who broke her arm

For Seth who was murdered recently and his family

For Alex who is accused of the murder and his family

For Patrick Whaley who was shot in the back by cowards who is in intesive care

May the Lord bless us with His continued presence for the above and for all those added in the prayer requests of the Board Prayer Request forum (Matthew 18:20).

This was written on 17 June:

What times do you pray the rosary? I was thinking that maybe there is a time that would work for me to pray it at the same time. That would be cool.

Also, I wanted to report that Sarah is officially 100%. She had her last follow-up doctor’s appointment and her arm is all better. She no longer needs to wear the brace and she can officially return to all of her normal activities. She’s doing great in swimming – even diving in at the start of each event. She’s doing great. She won her heat in Backstroke last night and also was part of the winning relay medley for her heat. I don’t know how her times were but I’m sure they were improved from last week. Her backstroke looked great and her freestyle did too… especially the start(dive in).

Anyway, report back to the Rosary Patrol that all the prayers have been wonderful and appreciated.

The following was taken from the Georgia bulletin:

Patrick Whaley was shot. His plans for his college break were left behind May 4 as the ambulance worker scissored through his bloody T-shirt in a parking garage in Midtown.

The 22-year-old spent half of May recovering at Grady Memorial Hospital. His classroom this summer has been a rehab room where he undergoes physical therapy. His body is recovering from a 70 percent blood transfusion, broken ribs, loss of lung capacity.

Patrick would fully recover despite what doctors feared. In fact, they recognized the “hand of God” in the healing of Patrick. There were a good number of such stories!


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So, you thought the whole point of current abortion law was to end DIY abortions? Think again…

Posted by John Benko - February 16th, 2011

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“If the legal challenge had succeeded, women would also have been required to keep the fetus and return it to a clinic to help ensure that the abortion had been completed.”

This quote is what the Pro-Aborts want in their lobby to get Do-It-Yourself Abortions available in England. This is the same industry that fights against using ultrasound to allow a woman to see the reality of her pregnancy before making a final decision for an abortion. This resistance is spun as “compassion” but as it leads to a significant drop in the number of abortions and the corresponding loss of abortion revenues, there may be other motives behind it as well. Now we see these same “compassionate” people want a woman to abort at home, scoop the tiny child up and into a baggie or specimen cup and take it in to the clinic for an examination. Any woman who has experienced the horror of a miscarriage can tell you that this is not something you want to sign up for. This is how far from reality you can stray once you start heading away from reason and truth.

The article…
Judge: No ‘DIY’ Abortions in England
LONDON (CNS) — A British judge dismissed a legal challenge to allow women to abort a child at home. 
The attempt to reinterpret the 1967 Abortion Act so that it permitted “DIY” or “bedroom” abortions was thrown out Feb. 14 by Justice Michael Supperstone in the High Court in London following weeks of deliberations. 
The case was brought by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, widely known as BPAS, a chain of abortion businesses, which carries out about 55,000 of the 200,000 abortions in Britain each year. 
The abortion provider contended that women seeking early abortions should be allowed to take misoprostol, a drug used in conjunction with the chemical abortion drug RU-486, at home rather than in a hospital.
But the proposal was opposed by the government, which argued that the law still required women to take both first and second doses of the drugs under supervision in medical facilities.

Link to the rest of the story…

The Catholic Defender: The Rosary Patrol

Posted by John Benko - February 16th, 2011

On Monday, 21 February at 7:00 P.M. Central, live on blogtalkradio, deepertruth will begin praying the Rosary.

While serving in Iraq, I organized a rosary group I called the :”Rosary Patrol”.

We will pick this up again Monday each week.

I want to invite everyone who has a desire to pray the Rosary to come and join us here at deepertruth blogtalkradio.

If anyone would like to have the rosary patrol to dedicate the Rosary for your intentions, please respond each week so we can pray for your needs.

This is from one of my Rosary Patrol members (Iraqi) November 15, 2009!

In a small village, far from Cordoba about 15 Km, at the 10th of this month, a lady took her one month old baby to baptize him, in the church, there where others baptizing their babies too and there was a female photographer taking pictures to other babies. the infant’s mother asked the photographer to take a picture for her son while the priest baptize him and she had told her previously that she own nothing to pay for the picture but she ask her as a favor, the photographer has agreed to do the courtesy as she knows the mother and son lives in poor and the baby has no father, the photographer took the pictures using a regular camera, and sent it to the Cordoba city for development, and it was the surprise when the pictures were received, as the poured water on the Babbie’s head revealed as a rosary and here I’m sending you the picture, as it was published in the newspapers and shot by the photographer’s lens.

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* BEST OF DTB #65* The Catholic Defender: St. Peter in Rome

Posted by John Benko - February 14th, 2011

The primary reason why some dispute St. Peter was in Rome is because they want to take St. Peter out of the authority of the Catholic Church.

With St. Peter out of the way that would open the door to them to reject the Catholic Faith.

This is pure and simple. I find it interesting that they will call the Catholic Church the “Whore of Babylon” because they believe that the Church was founded in Rome by Constantine.

Yet, when you share with them that St. Peter was in Rome based on the premise that he was in “Babylon”, they can’t accept that. 1 Peter 5:12-13 states, “I write you this briefly through Silvanus, whom I consider a faithful brother, exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Remain firm in it. The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son”.

BTW, St. Mark’s Gospel entered the New Testament canon through the authority of St. Peter. St. Luke’s Gospel was recognized through the authority of St. Paul. Babylon was a code name for Rome.

Following St. Peter during the early years after the Passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus we know that he was present at Pentecost. He gives the first Papal dissertation in Acts 2:14-41 when 3,000 people were baptized the first day.

A short time later, St. Peter gave a second speech at the portico called “Solomon’s Portico”. St. Peter and John were taken from there to the Sanhedrin where the Pharisees wanted to punish them but feared the people who were praising God (Acts 4:21).

We know that St. Peter was still in the Holy Land when persecution broke out against the Christians.

After St. Stephen was stoned to death, people went everywhere to escape Saul of Tarsus. Everyone except the Apostles. St. Peter gives a third speech and Baptized Cornelius near Caesarea.

St. Peter received a vision and message from an angel while in Joppa when three men came to see him to take him to Cornelius.

This would be very important for the early Church as God reveals to St. Peter his plan of salvation for the Gentiles.

St. Peter begins to speak when the Holy Spirit came upon the house of Cornelius.

St. Peter ensures the baptism of the entire household (Acts 10:9-48).

This would become important for the early Church and infant baptism.

King Herod captures St. Peter and puts him in prison, but God had other plans for St. Peter getting him away from the clutches of Herod (Acts 12:1-17).

We know that St. Peter was in Jerusalem for the Council of Jerusalem (49 A.D.), “After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, ‘My brothers, you are well aware that from the early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit just as he did us. He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts”.

After this scene, we do not see much of St. Peter in Jerusalem. This is the last time we see St. Peter in the book of Acts. St. Paul becomes the dominate figure from this point on.

So where does St. Peter Go? Does he ride his donkey into the sunset into retired life? No, not at all!

According to Tradition, St. Peter went to Antioch and ordained St. Evodius a bishop.

St. Peter appears to have gone immediately to Antioch after being released from jail by the angel. St. Ignatius of Antioch was a disciple of the Apostle John, who died around AD 100 AD.

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347 – 407 AD), grew up in Antioch, learned the history which taught that St. Ignatius had been ordained at the hands of Apostles, including St. Peter.

According to ancient tradition, St. Ignatius was the child whom Christ had held, as described in Matthew 18:4. It is also from here that St. John Chrysostom learned the history and tradition that Christ was born on December 25th, 2 B.C.

St. John Chrysostom would preach on the subject literally on Christmas day. It is important to understand from this tradition, St. Peter was in Antioch at one point. What about St. Peter in Rome?

Writing in his Annals circa A.D. 116, Tacitus a Pagan Historian, describes the response of Emperor Nero to the great fire that swept Rome in A.D. 64:
“But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero from the infamy of being believed to have ordered the conflagration, the fire of Rome. Hence to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.”
Suetonius, another Pagan historian also confirms Nero’s persecution of Christians at Rome (c. 120 A.D.):
“Punishment by Nero was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to
a new and mischievous superstition.” (Lives of the Caesars 26.2)

One of the Early Church Fathers who heard from St. Peter personally, was ordained by St. Peter would become the third successor to St. Peter. St. Clement of Rome about 95 A.D. wrote:

“Let us come to the heroes nearest to our times. . . . Let us set before our eyes the good apostles; Peter, who by reason of unrighteous jealousy endured not one or two but many labours, and having thus borne his witness went to his due place of glory. Paul, by reason of jealousy and strife, pointed out the prize of endurance. . . . When he had preached in the East and in the West he received the noble renown of his faith. Having taught righteousness to the whole world, even reaching the bounds of the West, and having borne witness before rulers, he thus left the world and went to the holy place, becoming the greatest pattern of endurance.”

St. Clement writes of Peter‘s stay in Rome, “I do not command you, as Peter and Paul did”.
Ignatius of Antioch wrote:

“Not as Peter and Paul did, do I command you [Romans]. They were apostles, and I am a convict” (Letter to the Romans 4:3 [A.D. 110]). Such a comment would only make sense if Peter had been a leader, if not the leader, of the church in Rome.

Later in the second century, Irenaeus of Lyons believed that Peter and Paul had been the founders of the Church in Rome and had appointed Linus as succeeding bishop.

Tertullian also writes: “But if you are near Italy, you have Rome, where authority is at hand for us too. What a happy church that is, on which the apostles poured out their whole doctrine with their blood; where Peter had a passion like that of the Lord, where Paul was crowned with the death of John (the Baptist, by being beheaded).”

St. Dionysius of Corinth also serves as a late second-century witness to the tradition. He wrote: “You (Pope Soter) have also, by your very admonition, brought together the planting that was made by Peter and Paul at Rome and at Corinth; for both of them alike planted in our Corinth and taught us; and both alike, teaching similarly in Italy, suffered martyrdom at the same time”.

Later tradition, first found in Saint Jerome, attributes to Peter a 25-year episcopate (or apostolate) in Rome.
St. Peter’s crucifixion in Rome is the only recorded traditional account of St. Peters death. John 21:18 states, ” Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God”.It is interesting to note that there are no viable examples or traditions of St. Peter having this experience anywhere else.

The grave that is claimed by the Church to be that of St. Peter lies at the foot of the aedicula beneath the floor under the main Altar. DNA testing reveals that the bones found were the bones of a 60-70 year old man.

On June 26, 1968, Pope Paul VI announced that the relics of St. Peter had been discovered. The evidence through scientific analysis found St. Peters name more than 20 times at the site, the bones had a purple and gold fabric.

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*BEST OF DTB #64* Love? What is love?

Posted by John Benko - February 13th, 2011

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We live in a world that worships emotions and yet has no idea what love is. We are ruled by the whims of our lives. We love, or not, based on the physiological impulses that stir within us. The result is the chaos you see around you. Crime, loneliness, divorce.

Our culture has turned it’s back on Love Himself, so is it any wonder we suffer from a dearth of love? Is it any wonder that we have forgotten how to keep our communities close, our families together, and our world peaceful?

Tomorrow is a day we celebrate love as a culture, but our culture has only a superficial idea of love. We think that love is an emotion. Love is so much more. Love is a person. Love is an act of the will. Love is a decision.

Love Himself tells us about Love, how to love, how to define love. I would like to share this measure of how well we love. It comes from a priest I know. As a widower he took his Holy Orders, so he knows Love in its many forms. He says, take the definition of love given in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, and substitute your own name for the word love. Ask yourself, does this describe you? It should. More and more perfectly.

So, I leave you with this idea of love on the eve of St. Valentine’s Day. How do you measure up? Do this, be this, my brother, my sister, and you can read that last line as a promise. You will never fail.

I am patient. I am kind. I am not jealous. I am not pompous. I am not inflated. I am not rude. I do not seek my own interests. I am not quick-tempered. I do not brood over injury. I do not rejoice over wrongdoings, but rejoice with the truth. I bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things.

* BEST OF DTB #63* The Guardian Angel: Where Are Our Shephards

Posted by John Benko - February 13th, 2011

“The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8


Pray with me: Most gracious Heavenly Father, we cry out for the faithfulness of the Shepherds to return and be like the faithfulness of Christ. May the Holy Spirit give them the strength to separate again from the world so that they serve you by tending your sheep. The Children are dying and losing their souls because of the lack of true Shepherds, turn the Shepherds back to a valiant faith that can face the confusion and conflict. Father give your Shepherds strength to overcome temptations and help them to return to fidelity in you. May those that Shepherd have self sacrifice and a denial of self as you protect them from evil. Let the Shepherds pick up their cross and again follow you. May the light of your Truth shine through their lives and return them to good works as defined by you, not man. They have but human hearts with human frailty, and have been weak in times of trouble and sorrow. In thought, word, and deed, give them a desire and your Grace to steadily grow in holiness. Increase their wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of your Truth. Let your will be done in their lives, so that your sheep are protected. Give them the strength to lead the sheep into the battles that put the lives and souls of your children at risk.

Bottom line, pray, stand, and act. And when you do anything, do it to honor and glorify the Lord, always seeking that HIS will be done.

Understand this right now, stop and pray that you understand what I am about to tell you. It is so important that you repent and pray that you will be humble, it is hard for many and for many different reasons.

For a Shepherd it can be a thorn in the side, for a servant warrior for the Lord it can make his warrior attributes with little or no effect, the power of God will not be with the proud.

Humility must be one of the greatest attributes of the Shepherds that are servant warriors for God. God will use the humble, but each of us have to understand that pride is an abomination to God.

To the Shepherd and the servant warrior, blessed be the day when the two are one, as long as it is in humility and seeking to honor and glorify God. You have heard it said, “Pride goes before the fall”, and to paraphrase Paul, you can be right, but at the same time very wrong in the eyes of God, if you do not lead all things with love and forgiveness. Also, understand that the words in the article can cause a strong reaction.

May each of our brothers that are ignorant, or weak in any way, by the grace of God understand the beauty and love of the chastisement within this article. May I someday join each person that will feel offended with the truth in the words that follow, committed to Jesus, and placed in the hands of God, who is our refuge and our strength. Remember those that have a warrior spirit and will feel a carnal pull toward pride, need to remember your wretchedness in the eyes of God up to the point of your submission to the Holy Spirit, and that you do nothing of any good toward man that is not a gift of grace from God. Let the words of Mary ring in your ears as you read on, “this is my son, do what he says.”
Like Paul said to the Galatians, “ Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?” They killed Jesus for telling the Truth, they killed the Apostles for telling the Truth, they killed the prophets for telling the Truth, many Christians are being killed or imprisoned today for telling, seeking or standing for the Truth. Lord, may I always speak your Truth with boldness, where ever that may take me.

May every word of every article we give to you in this DeeperTruthblog. bear witness to the Truth, to give honor and glory to God. Our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ wishes that none would perish, may you have eyes to see and ears to hear His Truth. WOE!!! To the Shepherds and people that call themselves Christian, that do what is right in their own eyes.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
“This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19

Light is Truth, darkness is a lie, and so we have a battle between the Truth and a Lie, the light and darkness, the good and the evil***many Shepherds need our prayers as Satan wishes to destroy them so that he can scatter the sheep. Bishop Fulton Sheen has told us that it is our obligation as the lay, to speak to the clergy if they are not doing what Jesus would do as taught in HIS bride.

Understand, knowing the Truth is important for you? Understand, your actions make a difference? We are at WAR for the lives and souls of the children, and no matter what rhetoric is used to distract you to other compassionate issues, if we do not address these things first, we dishonor God and He will never bless us or our nation.

Rev. Charles Finney said it this way, “If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is denigrate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

Shepherds do not love you if they do not tell you the Truth of God, just so your feelings would not be hurt, and you ended up in hell for eternity, what kind of love would that be? With love and forgiveness we come following our Teacher, who said, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Shepherds must like Jesus did, use HIS commandments as a schoolmaster. They must bear witness to the truth and not care if anyone likes them or not. The Shepherds must expose evil and help their sheep develop a rightly formed conscience, and then if their sheep are not following the commands of Christ, they must correct them and rebuke them if necessary, or they do not love them.

If you are a Shepherd please listen, change, and act with courage, to what Jesus said, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and earth. Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:18-20

Now, what are you waiting for? To know this, how does it hold that Christians and Shepherds do nothing? You might say, what do you mean, do nothing? We send some money to the missions, we have wonderful committee meetings and festivals, we give food to the local pantry, we help the widows and orphans, and we are involved in all the mercy ministries. By all means, do not neglect these things, yet there are lives and souls perishing, and to know what to do and not do it, is it not said to be a sin by God? As children’s souls are at risk of going to hell for eternity and children are murdered daily, do you think it will be a good idea to hang on to the thought that you will tell Jesus you fed the hungry, clothed the naked, while children went to hell? Will Jesus tell many Shepherds and sleeping Christians because of the Shepherds, to go over with the goats, that He does not know you?

I judge none of your hearts. Jesus has given me a gift to love you, but you must judge yourself, before Jesus does. I do judge out of love, your actions or lack of. Look around you; do you not understand the times at all? Are you willing to hear a prophetic warning, or do you just want your best life now? Do you want the truth, or just to feel good?

Put things in order, seek first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Open your ears and hearts to the following truth.

“It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop… Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace.” (John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae 101)
“Laws which authorize and promote abortion and euthanasia are therefore radically opposed not only to the good of the individual but also to the common good; as such they are completely lacking in authentic juridical validity. Disregard for the right to life, precisely because it leads to the killing of the person whom society exists to serve, is what most directly conflicts with the possibility of achieving the common good.” (John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae 72)

Prayer should be our first response in any crisis. Don’t wait until things are hopeless. Pray daily for God’s guidance. Our problems are God’s opportunities. Shepherds please lead the sheep in prayer and do it like Jesus. Finish like Jesus, “not my will, but yours be done.” Then get up, like Jesus, and go to the Cross, teaching the sheep to go to the cross with our actions, and not just words. Having a willingness to give our lives for the lives and souls of HIS children is to have life with Christ.

” ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD : As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD : This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them. Ezekial 34:1-10

Pray for our Shepherds and lift up their arms in the battles that rage, help them to stay in line with the teaching of the Church, edify them, expect them to love you enough to tell you the truth when you are disobedient, and encourage them to stand, lead, and take action against abortion, the homosexual agenda, pornography, government indoctrination in schools, pagan and atheistic influence, and other weightier issues of the day.

As the times become darker and more dangerous, Christians must have hope and confidence, that God has never abandoned His people, and indeed, He never will.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ commands us to be ever-watchful for His return, and ever-mindful that we have no lasting place on earth. When we have in our spirit a heavenly orientation, we can have true happiness in this world, recognizing the rewards of heaven have no proportion to the light sacrifices of life. Come Lord Jesus, Come.

Now listen to the wisdom of Solomon, “Whatever you do, do it with all of your might, for there will be no work, or planning, or knowledge, or wisdom, in the grave, where you are going.” Did I mention that you are going to die? What then?

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* BEST OF DTB #62 * The Catholic Defender: The Mass in History

Posted by John Benko - February 12th, 2011

The Mass in history has changed very little beginning with Jesus at the Last Supper and the Church taking the Lord’s command to preach the gospel to every nation.

The Eucharist is the sign of the Lord’s promise,the Eucharist is the pure offering spoken of by the Prophet Malachi.

It is written, “For from the rising of the sun, even to it’s setting, my name is great among the nations; And everywhere they bring sacrifice to my name, and a pure offering: For great is my name among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.

I have had the opportunity to go to Mass in Latin America, all over the United States, Europe, Korea, the Middle East and no matter where I have been, the Lord’s Mass is totally unified with the Church of Rome. From Jesus through his apostles, it has always been this way.

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke, and giving it to his disciples said, take and eat; this is my body. Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins”.

St. Paul refers to this cup as “The cup of blessing” which was the third cup offering in the Passover celebration.

During the Last Supper, Jesus omits the 4th cup saving this for the cross.

Jesus intentionally ties the Last Supper with his passion and death.

After receiving wine offered on a hyssop branch, Jesus from the cross says ”It is finished” marking the end of the old Covenant and the beginning of the new Covenant.

As the Israelite were saved from the Angel of Death by the blood of innocent spotless lambs blood applied on the lintel and two doorposts using a hyssop branch, the spotless Lamb of God was crucified between two thieves shedding his blood on behalf of all the world.

From this point on the Mass have become the center of Christian worship. The means by which Gods people can renew the new and everlasting Covenant. From the earliest times, “They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers” (Acts 2:42).

“On the first day of the week when we gathered to break bread…”, St. Paul raised Eutychus from the dead, then returned, “broke the bread, and ate; after a long conversation that lasted until daybreak, he departed” (Acts 20:7,11).

I often refer to this scene as the first recorded Midnight Mass! St. Paul refers to the “breaking of bread” and the cup of the “new covenant” saying, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

From the very beginning, the Mass (liturgy of the word and the Eucharist) was the center of Christian worship.

The Church in the early years had to hold Mass in secret for fear of the Jews and then of the Romans.

Mass would be held at homes where people would gather. Catacombs and caves were other places that the Christians held Mass.

This 2nd/3rd century Catacomb is located in Salzburg Austria. I had the chance to visit this site where the early Christian celebrated Mass.

There is a grave site where the Priest, Father Maximus was martyred by the Romans.

They still have original utensils and altar used by the Christians when you go up into the Catacomb. I had the chance to go in there and you can feel the reverence of the praise of voices long ago.

This is the ancient stairway that leads to the main room where the Christians would meet. Out on the ground you can see from here where the Von Trapp Family hid from the Nazis. The scene from “The Sound of Music” was filmed on location.

This Catacomb is not far from there. What a great experience it was to have been able to see this place. This depicts the way it was during that time.

About 140 A.D., a convert to the Catholic Faith would write about his experience of the Mass. St. Justin Martyr wrote the following:

No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.

We do not consume the eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Savior became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving.

On Sunday we have a common assembly of all our members, whether they live in the city or the outlying districts.

The recollections of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as there is time. When the reader has finished, the president of the assembly speaks to us; he urges everyone to imitate the examples of virtue we have heard in the readings.

Then we all stand up together and pray.

The wealthy, if they wish, may make a contribution, and they themselves decide the amount. The collection is placed in the custody of the president, who uses it to help the orphans and widows and all who for any reason are in distress, whether because they are sick, in prison, or away from home. In a word, he takes care of all who are in need.

We hold our common assembly on Sunday because it is the first day of the week, the day on which God put darkness and chaos to flight and created the world, and because on that same day our savior Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For he was crucified on Friday and on Sunday he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them the things that we have passed on for your consideration.

Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me”(Revelation 3:20). We call this “Holy Communion”.

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* BEST OF DTB #61* The moment of Consecration- the renewed test of faith.

Posted by John Benko - February 11th, 2011

Ask any protestant to define faith and they will usually give a sound answer like “faith is the belief in an unseen truth”. Defining faith and stepping out in it are two entirely different things. Protestants are, for the most part, people of faith only in the abstract but not in the practical.

Most protestants claim to be proponents of Sola Scriptura, a doctrine that stipulates that all truth must be found in the practical reading of Scripture. Nowhere in Scripture is this doctrine taught but that is almost beside the point. The reason is that the majority of protestants will even deny the plain words of Scripture because they simply lack the faith to accept them.

Nowhere is this more true than in the 6th chapter of John’s Gospel. This entire chapter is about the highest, most central act of Christian worship- the Eucharist.

The chapter begins with one of Jesus’ greatest miracles- the feeding of the five thousand. Notice that in verse 4, John explicitly ties the coming miracle to the Passover. This is no small thing. It is the Passover that points forward to this miracle, the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist. The allusion is clear, even if subtle.

The feeding of the five thousand is a glimpse into the sublime mystery of the Eucharist in several meaningful ways. First, there is this exchange between Jesus and Phillip and Andrew;

5* Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6 This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii * would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” 8* One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9* “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?”

If you ask most people what was the purpose of Jesus test, they might respond that Jesus was demonstrating that he could meet people in their temporal needs. That is not exactly the case. yes, Jesus does meet the temporal need of these people to eat- in an extraordinary way but He did so merely as as a stepping stone by which he drew them to a much deeper reality.

They clearly missed the point and Jesus admonished them for it.

25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27* Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.”

So, Jesus is saying that the miracle of the fish and loaves was not simply something that stood on it’s own but a foreshadowing of something better.

And, it turns out that this, as yet to be revealed reality is to be the penultimate test of faith.

To miss this would be tragic, so let’s examine the quote in both parts.

28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29* Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30* So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform?

Protestants often leave the second part off dishonestly. Jesus tells them that the true and ultimate test of faith is they believe in Him. They respond by asking specifically the sign that they should see and believe in. The answer is the very epicenter of faith and the very summit of worship.

31* Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” 34* They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
35* Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37* All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. 38* For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; 39* and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. 40* For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44* No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45* It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46* Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

Here, Jesus is showing that the Priestly Sacrificial offering, Passover meal, the Manna from Heaven and the miracle of the fish and loaves all pointed to an ultimate fulfillment in Him. Jesus would give us His own flesh and blood as spiritual food.

This revelation shocked the Jews but Jesus did not shrink from it one letter;

52* The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 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; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56* He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58* This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.” 59* This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Caperna-um.

For those who want to spirituality Jesus words, there just isn’t anywhere to go here, especially when one examines the actual exegesis of the passage! The word eats from John 6:54 comes from the greek word τρώγων (trōgōn) which literally means to gnaw, chew or grind between the teeth. Jesus is not only being literal here but graphically so. There is no wiggle room.
60 Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61* But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62* Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before?
This is now a third time that Jesus emphasizes that He is not kidding. He is not peaking in metaphors. He is speaking a literal truth. Yet, there are some who insist that verse 63 shows that Jesus was speaking metaphorically and that His flesh, which He has now said half a dozen times is the bread from heaven for us to eat, is of no avail and that He was only speaking in metaphors.
63* It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64* But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. 65* And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Their interpretation is twisted to the point of breaking. What Jesus is saying here, to all present, is that their flesh is of no avail- that is, their fleshy senses. In verses 63 and 64, Jesus issues a stern and clarion challenge. Do not count what your senses and your human reasoning tell you, you either believe or you don’t.

Jesus does not admonish those offended for a lack of understanding. He never says ‘”no, no, no, you don’t understand!” or explains this parable (as He did with all His parables), He simply gives them a shocking choice, believe that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have life, or don’t believe and be condemned. In fact, verse 64 basically tells us that Judas betrayed Him over this very doctrine.

One of the most oft quoted verses of Scripture is 2 Corinthians 5:7 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight

Yet, how can we say that we walk by faith and not by sight, if the two are never in conflict?
This verse presupposes that, at least sometimes, what faith tells us is true in in direct opposition to what our eyes tell us to be true.

So, Are you going to believe Jesus or your own lying eyes? This is the very test, Jesus identifies as the ultimate test of your faith. Jesus conveys this truth in Mark 14:22-25 and Luke 22:14-20. Paul adds the exclamation point in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29, with frightening clarity.

Jesus lost 60 followers that day during the Passover season because they simply could not pass the test of faith. However, the true believers stayed.

66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68* Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

In each Mass, is the very center and summit of worship, when, through the Priest, Jesus tells us again; “Take and eat, this is my body” and “Take and drink, this is my blood”. In every single Mass, heard every single day, in every single place, the believer is challenged anew to pass this test.

As the minister holds the host up before you and proclaims ” [this is] the body of Christ”, the believer responds “Amen”.

Amen, indeed. It truly is the Body of Christ.

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