The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10
The warning, Here Be Dragons!, on medieval maps marked uncharted waters and territories. Danger lurks in such regions for dragons are dark and destructive creatures. Their breath of fire – devour life and thrashing of tail – bear destruction.
Mythical creatures? No! Dragons are real. Their many waiting heads continue to devour the life of the innocent. Consider…
- the tail of terrorism that is sweeping away the lives of Syrian and Iraqi Christians and Muslims;
- the fire of addictions and incurable diseases that smolder within a person;
- the gaping jaws of war and famine devouring families and children across the globe;
- the insidiousness of poverty and hunger that hunt down so many people.
Dragons are real. And are not these dragons more real than all the mythical images conjured up by our authors and movie makers through King Arthur, Harry Potter, Beowulf, and Lewis Carroll?
What are the dragons in your life?
What is on the verge of threatening your spiritual life, often from within?
Is your dragon a disease that is causing you to loose trust in God?
- Is the daily care of a family member lost in the growing darkness of a forest called dementia like a dragon circling around you waiting for you to give up?
- Is the dragon’s fire of anger, hate or judgment of others burning away your spirit?
- As you strive to carry out good actions, are you torn by the dual dragon heads of doing the right action but either with an empty heart or for the wrong reason?
- Is consumerism, the need for the latest technology, the desire to always be in contact and in the know devouring you, your relationships, your daily life?
- Are you assailed by the many-headed dragon of impatience, or even intolerance, and the fear of change that often accompany age and infirmity?
Here Be Dragons! in the uncharted waters and territories of human life.
In the confrontation with life’s dragons we need to understand that the image of the woman clothed with the zodiac, the sun and the moon is a mirror image of ourselves. Shining in the light reflected off the baptismal waters dripping off us. Clothed in the white baptismal garment of sincerity and truth. Illuminated from within by the light of Christ we labour and often wail in pain daily to birth new life. The new life of our good actions and example to others. The new life of our words that console and uplift people. The new life that delivers people from hatred, violence, and prejudice. The new life of welcoming the stranger or forgiving from the heart.
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary is an invitation, a clarion call(?), to assume now the life of the Kingdom of God! Dragons need to be confronted and slain. And we do it, unassumingly and often alone, humbly and industriously, bravely and courageously, in the face of the dragons waiting to devour us. We live the Kingdom of God because we believe God and his Christ are greater than any evil that confronts us. We live the Kingdom of God, not because God will destroy our dragons, but rather because God will not allow the destruction of the good we birth or the destruction of ourselves.
The dragon? The dragon continues to roam the regions of the heart of women and men until Christ fully reigns. But for those who keep God’s commandments and witness to Jesus that Kingdom and reign are already present. [See Revelation 12:17]
The woman? “The woman…fled into the desert where a place had been prepared for her by God.” [Revelation 12:6]