Gospel: Mk 8:34–9:1
Then Jesus called the people and his disciples, and said, “If you want to follow me, deny yourself; take up your cross and follow me. For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it; and if you lose your life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, you will save it.
What good is it, to gain the whole world, while destroying your soul? There is nothing more precious
than your soul. I tell you, if anyone
is ashamed of me and of my words,
among this adulterous and sinful
people, the Son of Man will also be
ashamed of him, when he comes in
the glory of his Father with the holy angels.“
And he went on to say, “Truly I tell you, there are some here who will not die before they see the kingdom of God coming with power.“
Reaching towards God
The story of the Tower of Babel presents a fundamental reality of our being creatures, namely, our longing for God. The desire to reach heaven is at the very core of our being created. As the hind longs for running waters so does the very soul of man long for God (see Ps 42). The towers–both secular and religious–that humanity express that longing for heaven.
The sacred writer through this story reveals to us that the return to God, however, cannot be a human effort. The knowledge and skills of man are not enough and are bound to fail. Man cannot reach out to God from his own human resources. The journey to God is not a human endeavor; it is rather a work of Grace!
The “babel“ that ensued, the multiplication of languages in the world will one day be corrected with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost! The journey back to heaven is to be accomplished not by human efforts but by Grace, by the action of God Himself! For it is in vain that man builds, unless it is the Lord who builds! (see Psalm 127) May we always beg God to bless our journey back to Him.