FRIENDS OF THE LAMB
This is a God given opportunity to encourage our little ones to become actively involved in praying for our priests and vocations”? They could become members of a junior version of the “31 Club.”
Did not Jesus say “Suffer the little children and forbid them not to come to Me” (Mt 19: xiv)? Should we not encourage our Lord’s “little friends” to pray for their priests and for an increase in vocations? After all without our priests we would no longer have “The Lamb”. An appropriate name for these participants is “FRIENDS OF THE LAMB” and all junior parishioners, be they tiny babes in arms, children who have not yet made their first Holy Communion, or youngsters preparing for confirmation could be invited to join. Expectant Mothers are warmly invited to pray with their little unborn babies for “our priests” Since there are no rules parishes can do whatever they consider best. Of course the little babies would not know the words of the “Hail Mary” but their mothers or guardians would and the latter could recite an Ave for the wellbeing of their priest as they held their child in their arms.
Just imagine the joy in a mother’s heart as she announces to her pastor immediately after he has baptised her little babe that henceforth both she and her child would say an Ave for his intention each month on the date of her child’s baptism.
Initially the children would only be encouraged to say their Hail Mary once a month on an easy to remember date such as their baptism or birth date. Of course they could pray as many days of the month as they wished, but the idea is to encourage the youngsters to commence praying for their clergy. It is not meant to be a penance but something beautiful. It is the child’s special gift to his pastor and parish.
Just imagine how wonderful it would be for these little “Friends of the Lamb”, if on the day of their First Holy Communion, they heard their pastor speak directly to them and say that he needed their prayers and would be very grateful if they would say three Aves for his intentions on just one day each month so that Almighty God would make him a good and holy priest. After Confirmation, they would be regarded as adults and might then like to join the “31 Club”
Jesus is called “The Lamb” 32 times in the New Testament (28 in the book of Revelation). The first occasion is when the Baptist said “Behold the Lamb of God; behold him who taketh away the sin of the world”. (John 1: xxix).We Catholics believe that this is the Lamb who came down from heaven to suffer and to die for us so that we may be redeemed. Jesus was prefigured by the Lambs of the Exodus. God had told Moses when they prepared for the Passover on that fateful night that His people were to kill and eat a male lamb that was without blemish. It was to be eaten quickly with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They were to sprinkle the blood of the lamb upon the lintel and doorposts of every Jewish house in Egypt. Everyone was given strict instructions to stay indoors that night. At midnight the Angel of Death passed over Egypt, and in every home that was not protected by the blood of the lamb, the first-born was struck down. God had shown His power. The Jewish people were saved by the blood of The Lamb.
Vocations Guide to Priesthood