MASS FOR THE CARDINALS, ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
Thursday, 13 November 2003
1. "I give them eternal life" (Jn 10: 28).
Christ's words fill with light and hope our celebration today, during which we are praying for the Cardinals and Bishops who died in the course of the past year.
The memory of the Cardinals who have left us was particularly present and vivid at the recent Consistory. I would also like to remember their names here: Hans Hermann Groër, Gerald Emmet Carter, Aurelio Sabattani, Francesco Colasuonno, Ignacio Antonio Velasco García, Corrado Ursi and Maurice Michael Otunga. With them, I also remember Patriarch Raphaël I Bidawid.
2. Let us also pray for the Bishops whom God has called to himself from this world in these past months. It is comforting to think that all these venerable Brothers, zealous servants of the Gospel during their earthly lives, are now in the provident "hands" of God who has welcomed them into the eternal embrace of his love.
In their pastoral solicitude, they taught the faithful by their preaching and example to aspire to the true and eternal values, seeking to make themselves models for the flock entrusted to their care (cf. I Pt 5: 2-3). We are therefore confident that the Lord will deign to grant the promised reward to his faithful servants.
3. May Mary Most Holy welcome them and obtain for them eternal repose in the kingdom of the light and peace of the Risen One.
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