Hitherto I had been unsuspecting as a Cade lamb that is led off to the slaughterhouse; I knew nothing of the plots they were hatching against me as they whispered: 'Let us give him a taste of the gallows tree, let us rid the world of him, so that his very name will be forgotten.
But Thou, Lord of Hosts, true judge that can read the inmost thoughts of man's heart, let me live to see Thee punish them; to Thee have I made my plea known, Lord my God."
Lesson from the prophet Jeremias
A 'cade' lamb is an orphan lamb, one whose dam or mother has deserted it, one alone in the world, dependent on the shepherd's attention and care for its very survival.
It has been left alone and unloved and is totally at the mercy of circumstances.
A farmer or shepherd will take a cade or molly lamb and bring it in to be cossetted by the stove in the kitchen; it will receive a regular bottle of milk to sustain it; the gentle hand of the shepherd's wife to help it feed in the early days and the company of the children of the house to help it socialise in an alien world.
If the lamb fails to thrive it will be knocked on the head; no sense in wasting time over an animal that refuses the aid offered to it.
The shepherd's love, care and attention is available to us all but many choose to walk away from that love.
The slaughterhouse then is the destination; how many Catholics distance themselves from the shepherd?
They are oblivious to the machinations of those in authority who, in truth, are really wolves in sheep's clothing. All discernment has gone and they are slipping into the abyss while proclaiming that 'God loves me and will not condemn me'.
True but they forget that judgement is theirs and theirs alone; they are the ones who will commit themselves to eternal oblivion, not Almighty God.
We are all orphaned lambs, subject to error and wrongdoing but the path leading to the abattoir is an obvious one, only the wilfully spiritually inept will insist on taking that path.
This Friday, Good Friday, presents us all with a tremendous opportunity to redeem those in Purgatory and to open the eyes of the blind.
Let us pray also for all Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Subdeacons, Acolytes, Exorcists, Doorkeepers, Confessors, Virgins, Widows, and for all the holy people of God.