Perfect?

Matthew 5:38-48

Jesus said:

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Perfect. Did you hear that? Perfect. Jesus said “Be perfect, as God is perfect.” What a burden.  No-one can do it. We are all going to come up short. “Perfect” is a problem–it leads us to perfectionism– Continue reading

Beware of Literalism!

Matthew 5:21-37

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.

Before we go any further—as a priest in the Episcopal Church I’ve got to tell you—no way can you read this text literally.

As a community, we’d have a lot of one-eyed, one-handed parishioners, for starters! How could Jesus mean this literally? He’s a healer! Doctors don’t tell you to pull out your eye! Continue reading

The Baptism of Jesus, and the YOU of God

A few years ago, I was trading emails with a priest who serves at Trinity Wall Street; Mark Bozzuti-Jones is their priest for pastoral care and community.

I don’t remember anymore what we were talking about, but I will never forget how he addressed me in those emails. He called me Anne of God! I found that very daunting. I wondered how anyone would live up to a name like that. Continue reading