On March 11 of this year, Presenter Charles Gill II S.F.O. will give a presentation, “The Stations of the Cross: A Meditation based upon the Fine Art of Bill Lutz.” The following is an excerpt of that presentation.
“Today this Graph is fulfilled in your ear.” “The Spirit of the Personal Name is upon me; he anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Personal Name.”
Now, you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it. One growing up we joked about giving our friends a million dollars tomorrow, or something else we knew they wanted. The joke was that the next day we would say, but this is today, not tomorrow. For that you will have to wait until tomorrow. We live in the perpetual present, today.
Jewish tradition has the same idea. As they count the Ten Commandments, they read, “The Personal Name, our Almighty Judge, cut a Brit with us at Horeb/Sword; not with our fathers did the Personal Name cut this Brit, but with us, each of us, alive, here, today.”
When the Jewish community celebrates Passover, our Eucharist, they understand the promise to be fulfilled in each generation, today, at the reading. Likewise, we understand Jesus to be present, in our Eucharistic sacrifice, today, this day, each time we celebrate Passover. Likewise, when we read Jesus’ statement that he came to bring glad tidings to the poor, to liberate captives and recover sight to the blind, let the oppressed go free and proclaim the Jubilee year, we understand him to refer to today, each day we hear the reading, That means now.
Our first reading tells us, “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.” We each are parts of Christ’s body.” Our church teaching has always been that we, collectively, are the body of Christ. We, as the body of Christ, are anointed at baptism to bring glad tidings to the poor, to liberate captives and recover sight to the blind, let the oppressed go free and proclaim the Jubilee year, we understand him to refer to today, each day we hear the reading, That means now.
We to our hallowed spot, the altar of God to remind ourselves of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley to the sunlit path of justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.
We must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. We must not drink from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. We must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
Bishop’s homily January 27, 2013 and Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream Speech, 28 August 1963