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Homily preached by the Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool, at the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion. 3.00 pm on Good Friday, 2 April 2010, in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool.
This is the day of the fullness of charity, the fullness of gift, the fullness of salvation.
Of charity: ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.’ And he was wounded for our transgressions and the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all.
The fullness of gift: ‘Jesus said: “It is accomplished”: and bowing his head he gave up the spirit.’
The fullness of salvation: ‘Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, aloud and in silent tears…Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered, and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.’
Message of the Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool. Good Friday, 2 April 2010
The events of Holy Week and Easter must invite us all to hold in our thoughts and prayers the Holy Land, the place where those events took place. During Lent Roman Catholics pray the words: ‘As we recall the great events that gave us a new life in Christ, you bring the image of your Son to perfection within us’. It is in these days that we seek that perfect image as we celebrate the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.
In sharing those events which took place in Jerusalem we must be one with the Christians of the Holy Land today. I received a reminder of this earlier this week with an email from Brother Jack Curran of Bethlehem University, he wrote: ‘I thank you for your prayers and generous support in providing quality higher education for the people of Palestine through Bethlehem University. As we continue to move forward and grow, we know that a key component of our success over the years, and into the future, is due to our tremendous international support from good and generous people like you. Thank you for your continued support in assisting Bethlehem University to be an oasis of peace and beacon of hope in the Holy Land. May you experience joy and hope in celebrating the mystery of Easter.’
In my reply I assured him of the prayers of the people of our City: ‘The Holy Land is held in prayer here by many friends of you all. May the Lord's rising words, with his reconciling deed accomplished, “Peace be with you” find a welcome in hearts. As I look across at the water colour I have of the entrance to the Holy Sepulchre and to the table where are placed the reminders of Bethlehem University from the heart I say: may Holy Week and Easter be for you all, in the words of Pope Benedict, a celebration of the fullness of charity, gift, salvation. So may peace the fruit to justice abound.’
Throughout these days may we remember the people of the Holy Land and ‘for the peace of Jerusalem pray.’