Fri 17th February 2017
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order
Gen. 11:1-9
Ps. 33(32):10-11,12-13,14-15
Mk. 8:34-9:1     (Ps Wk II)

The story of the Tower of Babel cannot, of course, be a factual account for God could not be so petulant. It is a revelation of divine truth in story form, a reflection on our relationship with God and with each other.

It makes good theological and spiritual sense to see the story's focal point in the expression of the human fear that led the people astray: “otherwise we will be scattered all over the earth.” In creating the human race, “God blessed them saying to them ‘be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth.’” (Gen 1:28). In their fear of being scattered over the earth and, presumably, of being in danger of annihilation, they were actually forfeiting God’s blessing.

The devil tempted Eve to seek to be like God, divine. Now at Babel, mankind is once again tempted — to build a city and so make a name for themselves, a symbol of self-preservation and even of immortality. The city would contain a tower reaching up to heaven, a symbol of the search for transcendence. Our hearts desire divinization, immortality and transcendence but these are divine gifts bestowed on us in Jesus alone.
Lord, may we never strive to attain Your divine gifts by presuming on our own strength and wilfulness instead of surrendering to Your grace and blessing.