Sunday, October 11, 2015

Welcoming the little ones

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
October 4, 2015

Mark 10:2-16

The episode seems insignificant. However, it contains an undercurrent of great importance for Jesus' followers. According to Mark's account, some people are trying to bring a few children who are running around there near to Jesus. All they want is for that man of God to be able to touch them to transmit some of his power and his life. Apparently, it was a popular belief.

The disciples get annoyed and try to prevent it. They're trying to erect a fence around Jesus. They attribute to themselves the power to decide who can get to Jesus and who can not. They stand between him and the littlest, the most fragile and the neediest of that society. Instead of facilitating access to Jesus, they hinder it.

They've already forgotten the action of Jesus who, a few days earlier, had placed a child at the center of the group so that they would learn well that it's the little ones who must be the center of the attention and care of his disciples. They have forgotten how he embraced him before all, inviting them to welcome them in his name and with the same affection.

Jesus gets indignant. Such behavior by his disciples is intolerable. Angry, he gives them two orders: "Let the children come to me; do not prevent them." Who taught them to act in a way so contrary to His Spirit? The little ones, the weak and defenseless, are precisely the first ones who must have open access to Jesus.

The reason is very deep because it reflects the designs of the Father -- "for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." In the kingdom of God and in Jesus' group, the bothersome ones are not the little ones, but the great and powerful, those who want to dominate and be first.

The center of his community is not to be occupied by strong and powerful people who impose themselves on others from above. In his community, men and women who seek last place to welcome, serve, embrace and bless those who are the weakest and neediest, are needed.

The kingdom of God isn't spread from imposition by the great but from welcoming and defending the little ones. Where the latter become the center of attention and care, there the kingdom of God is coming, the more humane society that the Father wants.

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