Text: Archbishop Kelly pays tribute to Bishop David Sheppard

 Introduction to Mass and Homily Preached by the Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool, at Solemn Mass on the Fourth Sunday of Lent. 11am yesterday in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool. Introduction: Thanks be to God that it was planned that I should celebrate Mass here today. The Pentecost Banner proclaims the long association of Bishop David Sheppard with the Roman Catholic Community and with Archbishop Worlock especially. Thanks be to God that today the word of God, as we pray for Bishop David, his wife Grace, his daughter Jenny, proclaims: "Wake from your sleep: rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Thanks be to God that a Gospel story of light, of healing, but only through Jesus, the one sent, whom we are called to worship, can shape our remembering of an evangelical Bishop, rooted, dedicated to preaching Jesus alone. To be healed of all darkness, arrogance, to the God who does not see as we see, we pray as in our name the choir sing: Kyrie eleison: Lord, have mercy. Homily As we began Mass I described Bishop David Sheppard as evangelical: this is what I meant: inspiring, sustaining, guiding all his passion and commitment to justice, dignity, respect for every woman, man, child, was this heartfelt, prayer filled conviction: "Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth, the Life. He alone is light: if we say "We see," and refuse to engage seriously with the light of the word of God, with Jesus, Light of the World, we walk in darkness." Today's story hurls us forward to Holy Week. Light will only come, because "the night will soon be here," the night of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, when the daring, shining, challenging, compassionate eyes of Jesus are closed in the total darkness of death. Good Friday and Holy Saturday, a David Sheppard would say, belong to Jesus alone. And light, and life, and courage, will only be found if we go to Siloam, the pool which means Sent, that is Jesus sent by the Father to be for us the way by which we are able to become light in the Lord, children of light, whose lives shine with complete goodness, right living and truth. The Easter Vigil, therefore, shall be given to the Lord of Light, Life, Joy. Because Bishop David Sheppard, true to Jesus, constantly called on us to repent, to turn to the Lord, we will confidently pray that this call shall welcome him: "Awake from your sleep, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." And Derek and David shall enjoy that complete unity in the Lord which they steadfastly sought, Better Together, in their "Steps Along Hope Street," steps, which this Cathedral will not allow to forget, Pope John Paul affirmed for all to see. Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Source: Archdiocese of Liverpool

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