Is this story part of historical reality? But can you really believe that someone would think of making a tower that would reach up to the sky?

Someone may argue that they are disappointed again if I say that the above is not relevant and that, therefore, it will not be the subject of this article. But it is precisely not relevant.

At this point, after having gone through the chapters dedicated to Creation or the Universal Flood, I believe that it has already been explained that all these “stories” are not so much history (scientifically speaking) as catechesis that uses symbols, images , myths …

v4a. Let’s build a city and a tower whose top reaches the sky

A new way of challenging God appears in this verse. If already in the second creation account (Gn 2) the temptation of “to be like God” is presented to the human being, this passage is not far from that mentality.

In the creation story, it is not a question of trying to be like the creative Father in his love and goodness, which would imply a consequence of life. It is, on the contrary, the attempt to be like God only in power and to do it from a disobedient and very easy offer.

Now, in the story of Babel, one seeks to reach heaven, glory, once again away from a call to holiness of life or unconditional surrender (like Jesus and his disciples). Here everything is reduced to touching the sky counting only on our strength. In other words, what an incongruous paradox, Babel does not count on God to reach God.

v4b.Let’s make a name

I’ve always found it funny when using the expression “be someone” . Yes, it is obviously an ironic and sarcastic grace.

The “respectable” of this world have convinced themselves and, unfortunately, they have convinced almost everyone, that you have to “be someone” . Well, as you can see, the thing comes a long way, since the expression “let’s make a name” has a lot to do with that of “be someone” .

But what are we talking about? The point is that the only one who really has a proper name is “the name above every name” and all the rest of us receive it from Him. Therefore, “let’s make a name” refers to not needing God, to being self-sufficient .

But also, it’s about not being the same as the rest. “Being someone” is that, while I manage to be, there are those who are not. If I want to be above God, how can I not wish to be above my brother?

v7b. That no one understands the speech of his partner

There is enormous confusion regarding this verse and its parallel to Pentecost (Act 2)

Here it is not said that any strange language was spoken, but rather that each one speaking their language did not understand each other. That is, they stopped being in communion with each other. And it was like that, because when God is not counted on, communion is impossible, since we end up putting ourselves ahead of God and our brother.

And in the same key, but just the opposite, it will occur at Pentecost. In the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit it is not said at any time that any strange or invented language was spoken. What Lucas explains is that speaking each one in their own language, they all understood each other. And it was so because they were in communion having received the Holy Spirit.

Thus, the key at both Babel and Pentecost is the dynamics of communion.

Babel today

Where is the Tower of Babel today? It seems that its ruins are in the today, near Baghdad. But there are those who say that Babel has ended up being built. They say that Babel is the gibberish of communication and information that we find in newspapers, radios, televisions, portals and Internet pages … There has never been so much communication and, paradoxically, so little understanding.

Babel can be translated as “confusion” . But we can also say that sometimes Babel is ourselves. When we dynamite communion, either from positions blatantly contrary to unity, or from uniformizing positions, where people are only subjects dependent on cold and calculating objectives. Or when we deceive ourselves by adducing God as an end to justify our means.

But, furthermore, it really is a lie that the end is God. We use God in our current Babel. We disguise ourselves as religious people who want to reach God, but as in Babel, we try without counting on Him, without entering into his dynamics of communion.

Quique Fernández

School of Biblical Animation

Miracle Sound Radio