Rev. Neli Miranda
Once again, Jesus and his disciples are on the way and while they walk, Jesus teaches them, but it seems that what Jesus teaches them is not what they want to hear...
Jesus knows his proclamation about the Kingdom of God has raised opposition among the Jewish authorities, and they will seek any way to silence him. His mission has no return,
and he is not going to renounce it. He is aware of what awaits him, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” (9, 31).
The first time that Jesus had announced his coming suffering and death to his disciples, Peter tried to turn him away from his mission. This time, Mark tells us that the
disciples do not understand Jesus and they are afraid to ask him. Maybe, they do understand but they deny the truth to themselves and do not want to hear about Jesus’ way, the way of
the cross. They would like Jesus to teach them about his mission as the “great Messiah”.
While they walk, they continue talking among themselves. Jesus’ teaching has provoked a discussion about greatness, but it seems their paradigm of greatness is inconsistent with Jesus’ mission. Jesus does not get involved in their discussion but when
they arrive at Capernaum, he inquires, “What were you arguing about on the way?” (9,33). Mark tells us there was a silent response; maybe they were ashamed because their
discussion had ended with an argument about who was the greatest among them.
Once again, Jesus’ teachings turn the disciples’ world upside down, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” (9, 35). Greatness in Jesus’ community is not about the grandiosity the disciples see around them, displayed by the
Jewish and Roman authorities who hold positions of honor among the people. This is Jesus’ mission!
Jesus then takes a little child that nobody had noticed, probably the daughter or the son of one of the many disciples accompanying him on the way. Maybe, while the disciples
were walking and not facing the truth of Jesus’ way, this little child comforts Jesus, smiling and playing with him. Taking the child in his arms, Jesus continues teaching the
disciples, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” (9, 37).
In the Jewish culture, children represented the future, but in the family, they had no voice. They were a kind of insider left on the outside, so what did holding or welcoming a child imply? Jesus’ teaching comes in response to the question of greatness. Jesus does not identify himself and God with an image of greatness but with the little ones, with the vulnerable among the community. Thus, Jesus teaches them that the Kingdom of God is not a matter of power and greatness but of love, service, and egalitarian relationships.
Dear sisters and brothers, by holding a little one in his arms, Jesus teaches us what his community must be like a community unconcerned with power and greatness but withembracing the little ones, the vulnerable of today, because by embracing the little ones, we welcome God and Jesus himself.
May Jesus guide us on the path of the Kingdom of God. May we understand the
truth that Jesus teaches us. May we take the path of service and love not the one of glory and power.
The Reverend Neli Miranda Lopez
Priest in Charge
Greetings to one and all, near or far! We are happy that you found St. Alban Episcopal/Anglican Mission at Casa Convento Concepcion in Antigua, Guatemala. St. Alban Mission is different than most Mission and Parishes in the IARCA Province of the Anglican Communion. St. Alban has a core of English and Spanish speaking residents in Antigua and Sacatepequez that slowly grows depending on the Season and often has many regular Winter Visitors and sometimes a much larger number of folks who come to visit Guatemala and join us for one or more weeks while they are here on Mission Trips. Our Sundays of worship together become part of mutual experience and can change our lives. The Holy Spirit is the main presenter in all that we do and during the period of Covid-19+ we are celebrating every other Sunday at Casa Convento Concepcion (safe-spaced-masked) and every Sunday on ZOOM NOTE THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER ZOOM LINK, EACH FRIDAY, ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE In person and/or on Zoom our service is at TEN in the morning, Guatemala time. The link is readily available, each week, on our facebook page. At Casa Convento Concepcion there is complimentary parking available on the back grounds of the Convent (check with the security guard as you drive into the arched entrance). Peace be with you.
THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH WELCOMES EVERYONE
Leonard Clark, Communications
Country Code, 502, 56568295
santosiempre at yahoo dot com