Today was the third lecture at St. Matthew’s in our Lenten Lecture Series on the Luminous Mysteries, on the third luminous mystery naturally, and that’d be the Proclamation of the Kingdom. Today was my day to introduce the speaker. There was an awkward moment when I began my spiel and intro for the Reverend Raymond Kemp, and apparently I wasn’t close enough to the mic, and the volume wasn’t turned up enough anyway, and folks in back began shouting that they couldn’t hear me. So then Maureen had to come up, and she and fiddled with a few things, moving the microphone closer and turning the volume knob. And then everyone could hear me. But then I didn’t know if I should start completely over or just keep going, so I just backed up a a little bit and then went on with it.
And Father Kemp was pretty good. More important really than any overall unifying theory to tie together everything he said, which there probably was one but I just kept missing it, was the fun way that he would riff about certain concepts and passages. Like when he was reading from St. Matthew about the sermon on the mount, and he noted that the Sea of Galilee wasn’t especially a sea, but rather a big lake. And when St. Matthew says that Jesus went up the mountain to preach, it was a hill not a mountain, but St. Matthew calls it a mountain so as to be a parallel with Moses and Mt. Sinai. Or like how he noted the apposition of our contemporary use of the word “passion” and its use when discussing the Lord’s experience on Good Friday. Christ’s first passion, said Father Kemp, Christ’s original thing about which he felt strong emotion, about which he was passionate, was the Kingdom of God.