Homily Grits by Grant Gallup. From Louie Crew's Anglican Pages (Unofficial)


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Louie Crew
377 S. Harrison Street, 12D
East Orange, NJ 07018

Phone: 973-395-1068 h


lcrew@andromeda.rutgers.edu

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Louie & Ernest Clay-Crew
Married February 2, 1974


12/21/1974
 
8/17/2006



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Maundy Thursday 2007




H O M I L Y      G R I T S      MAUNDY THURSDAY, 2007

April 12, 2007 Maundy Thursday

Exodus 12:1-14a
Psalm 78:14-20, 22-25 He led them with a cloud by day
I Corinthians 11:23-26(27-32)
John 13:1-15 Or Luke 22:14-30

The Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday is not as is the Passover Seder
"a symbol of a symbol", in the words of Gregory Nazianzus. The three
great days of Holy Week begin this evening, and they begin with the
Passover reading: "Tell all the congregation that they shall take
every one a Lamb. You shall eat it in haste, for it is the Lord's
Passover. It shall be a memorial for you."

The last mass of Easter day, the evening service, will be the story
> from Luke's gospel of the walk to Emmaus, and shall end with these
words, "Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was
known to them in the breaking of the bread."

In between these two lessons, which serve as the two poles of this
mini-season, swings the whole history of the institution of this
distinctive Christian feast--the Christian Passover, and at its heart
the Holy Eucharist.

Devout Jews believed and still believe that when at the Passover
Seder they are "virtually" there with Moses and Aaron, coming out of
Egypt. But the Passover of the Old Covenant is for Christians now
sadly but a passed-over symbol, a preview of the Christian Eucharist,
itself the proximate symbol of the Easter victory, the Easter Exodus
of Christ Jesus. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore
we shall keep that feast.

The Passover continued for all the years of the old covenant to be
eaten standing up, in great haste, because it was always believed
that Messiah would come on Passover night, and the faithful must be
ready. Early Christians likewise looked for the return of Mesiah
Jesus at an Easter Eucharist, and so it is the "tradition", the
"handing down" of authoritative practice, to do Eucharist this night,
in anticipation, as a bursting forth before its time not only of the
Easter Feast but as the first budding of Spring time, as the first
flower of the season, but also a foretaste of Messiah's return to
judge the living and the dead.

The second coming is anticipated too in Paul's account tonight, in
the words about proclaiming the Lord's death till he come. And the
warning of judgment is there, the coming of Christ is anticipated,
too. No longer as the one who was judged in this night, but as the
One who shall waken us all to trial in this night. We gather in hope
to wait his return. So we do not go into tomorrow--into the Friday we
call Good--as to a funeral, to sit and grieve, but we go as to an
abandoned battlefield, the signs of its warfare still scarring the
landscape, its horizons still smoking from the ruined weapons of war.
It is the Gettysburg of our most disastrous loss and the parade
ground of our most decisive victory. The defeated Jesus will not be
found there, for it is not to Bad Friday we go, but to the Good One. 
In Spanish, we say "Viernes Santo" --Holy Friday.   Oh yes, we shall
still see his scars, and in each Maundy Thursday ("Commandment
Thursday" for "a new commandment I give you, that you love one
another." )  and in each anticipation (as this is) of the everlasting
Easter to come, we shall welcome among us a wounded Jesus, whose
wounds are badges of his victory and conquest. His chair is not to be
like the Elijah chair at Seder, an empty one for ever, for Jesus sits
enthroned among us at eucharist, presiding as he did that sacred
evening centuries ago. This is the sacrament, the mysterion, of
Christ's bodily presence, not the bewailing of his physical absence.

He can never be murdered again, and never displaced from the
president's chair at the eucharist, so we ourselves can never be
defeated, in spite of the Holocaust of Jesus' brothers and sisters in
the inferno of Naziism, in spite of the Holoaust of Latin americans
in the "Memory of Fire" torched by the Yanqui invasor over the great
motherlands of this hemisphere in these centuries of fire. Jesus'
return is not to be triumphalist, as the return of a Columbia space
shuttle to gringolandia, to glorify military power and its victory
over humankind, but it is to be a return to service, not servility.
To Maundy, to a new commandment of Love, to be servants to each other
as he has been a servant to us all.

Tonight the Church sheds her widow's weeds and sings a Gloria, and
shows us a peek at her Easter bonnet.

GRANT GALLUP
CASA AVE MARIA
MANAGUA, NICARAGUA C.A.




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