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Friday, February 16, 2007

People of Babel

Today's readings bring us the story of Babel when God said, “If now, while they are one people,
all speaking the same language, they have started to do this, nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do." He then confused their language and spread the people of the world all over the Earth. The responsorial psalm goes on to tell us that God, "brings to nought the plans of nations; he foils the designs of peoples". And then in the Gospel we have Jesus telling us,
"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?"

How much so are we like the people of Babel in that we are often so concerned with making a name for ourselves here on Earth that we are in danger of forgetting the heavenly rewards which we may forfeit? Additionally how often is it that when we place our own desires above those of God that we find our plans not coming together? It's only when we trust God and turn ourselves over to Him that we find our true lives.

In a broader sense consider the state of the world today. We have companies, politicians, and whole nations trying to make a name for themselves by any means necessary. How often do we see these endeavors ultimately end if failure at the cost of great suffering for many.

Consider what happens when we throw out God's law and try to replace it with the satisfaction of our own desires. We end up living in a world where it's considered discriminatory to use words like mother and father and innocent children are denied a chance at life before they are even born.

God has given us the gift of free will. However, we must recognize that the exercise of that free will carries with it definite and sometime severe consequences. We live in a world of war and rumors of war where a few are rich and thousands are starving. Families, communities, and entire nations are torn apart by disagreements in matters for which there would be no disagreement if we remained faithful to the law of God.

We are very much like the people of Babel. We have become so caught up in making a name for ourselves and having our every desire met that we have all but forsaken our place in God's kingdom. We must recognize that the problems created by our attempts to reign supreme are not merely new challenges to overcome. They are a definite sign of God's supreme reign and authority to bring the plans of nations to naught and to foil the designs of people.

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