February 17. Jock had visited Iraq and seen the ruins of some of the ancient little towers called ziggurats, He explained that these structures were possibly the basis for the biblical story of the tower of Babel. It tells how the people were punished for their pride in wanting to build a tower all the way to heaven. God punished them by scrambling their languages so they couldn’t communicate. Language can be a real barrier to communication, in families, communities and nations. Beauty said, “I think love can overcome that barrier. Mohammed and I do have different home languages and faiths, but we really love each other even though at times communication can be difficult.” “I hope that will become more true in time,” her mom thought to herself.
Scripture: The whole earth had one language and few words. As men migrated they said, “Come let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens and let us make a name for ourselves.” The Lord came down to see and said, “This is only the beginning of what they will do . Come let us go down and there confuse their language so that they may not understand one another. So the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the earth. Gen 11. Pope Francis: I would like to tell you a story, a biblical midrash by a rabbi of the twelfth century, the story of the building of the Tower of Babel. He says that the bricks had to be made. This meant making the mud, bringing the straw, mixing them, then, in the oven, and when the brick was made it had to be hoisted up, to build the Tower. Every brick was a treasure, for all the work it took. When a brick fell, it was a national tragedy, and that worker guilty of breaking it was punished. But if a worker fell, nothing happened: it was something else. This still happens today: if investments in banks, drop a little , it’s a tragedy! But if people are starving, if they have nothing to eat, if they are not healthy, it does not matter! This is our crisis today! And the witness of a poor Church for the poor goes against this mentality. Pentecost 2013 Reflect, share, act and pray.