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Monday, December 5, 2016
Text: Archbishop Kelly at Ken Bigley Memorial Service
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 The following address was given by the Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool, at the Memorial and Thanksgiving for the Life of Kenneth Bigley. Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on Saturday. Early this morning I offered Mass for Ken Bigley. What I did then enables me to offer peaceful assurance for our thoughts, our feelings, our remembering, our hopes in this hour. To offer Mass for someone who has died is this: it is to place them and the whole of their story within the affectionate prayer, the compassionate care, the loving mercy of Jesus. And that means we can bring everything: the bright sunrise but the shadow as well: sunlight of midday, but sunset too, night but always promising a new morning. And because the Mass is about Jesus we can bring in complete serenity and trust our tears, our mourning, yes, even feelings of bitterness and loss, because the shortest sentence in the holy books of Christians, perhaps the shortest in any holy book is this: Jesus wept. And because among you I must proclaim the praying of Jesus I am able to respect the patterns commended to us by the Bigley family: to remember the death, the grief, the suffering of others too. There is space in the broken heart of Jesus especially for the remembering, the praying, the mourning on this eve of this Remembrance Day. Hearts responsive to the generous example of the Bigleys will fittingly enter this Remembrance Day, vividly, seriously, silently aware of new names to remember this year: from the Black Watch: Sergeant Stuart Gray 31, Private Scott McCardle, 22, Private Paul Lowe, 19. We will remember them and to the Lord our shepherd, whose goodness and mercy follows us all our life, entrust them all. We have two more steps to take. The first is this: at Mass today as so often I prayed: 'Lord, may this sacrifice which has made our peace with you advance the peace and salvation of all the world'. For I share with my sisters and brothers in Christ this conviction: God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself through the selflessness and mercy of the cross. And I know the word Shalom peace touches, stirs every Jewish heart: Salaam, peace, touches, stirs every Muslim heart: reconciliation and an end to violence is, dare I, may I say it: Buddhism. But to pray for peace again as Craig Bigley on behalf of the family called for on the night we were told of his father's death, requires much of each one of us. We must be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to form us according to the charter Jesus set before us today: for peace will be accomplished in the measure that each one of us is converted, healed , changed, and becomes: poor in spirit not arrogant: a mourner, never cold-hearted: meek not dominating: hungry and thirsty for justice for the road to peace is justice for all: merciful: pure in heart not devious a peacemaker and willing even to suffer for what is good, and right and true. In other words our hearts must be so renewed that this is what all will see and recognise and feel in us: a love that is patient and kind: not jealous or boastful; not arrogant or rude; a love that does not insist on its own way: is not irritable or resentful; does not rejoice at wrong: but rejoices in the right. Such a transformation is the command of Jesus: 'love one another as I have loved you'. For a change of heart Jewish people pray: 'A pure heart create for me, O God'. For Muslims the first struggle, war, Is against all that is evil within us. As the Dalai Lama taught us here a few Months ago: seek for and embrace enlightenment. And so finally, at a moment of gently ending a chapter in the story of the Bigley family, this city and many, many more thank you for inspiring us not to allow dark days to divide us but side by side to recognise God resolutely among us to accomplish a good work. And God who said: Let there be light: God who is all - compassionate and merciful; God who is light and all that is harmonious: God who, his Son not sparing, sent him to die, will bring this good work to fulfilment. But one last word is demanded: just this once taught by this wonderful city, I dare to say: Lil, God love you, bless you, keep you.
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