Dt 8:2-3; 14b-16a 1Cor 10: 16-17 Jn 6:51-58
Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood
Some of the earliest European world maps contain a curious notation in some of most remote places in the oceans: “Here be dragons.” One of the great insights of the past two centuries offered in large part through the efforts of the modern science of Psychology is that the vast majority of those dragons lie not out in the middle of the ocean but deep in the caverns of our individual psyches. Each one of us harbors any number of fearsome dragons in the form of deeply repressed fears and emotional scars often rooted somewhere within the haze of our early childhood.
Equipped with such knowledge we can take great comfort in Moses’ words found in the book of Dueteronomy: “Do not forget the LORD, your God, who guided you through the vast and terrible desert with its seraph serpent and scorpions.”
Not exactly a reference to dragons, but pretty close.
Knowing that this snake and scorpion filled desert is mostly within doesn’t in any way diminish its’ ferocity. Just look around. We try hard to hide the bites and stings we carry with us but a close look through eyes of compassion and faith reveal that the lame and the crippled are all around us. In fact, they are us.
Moses never promises that God will take the serpent and the scorpions away – only that God will see us through. The bites and stings are never fatal if we throw our lot in with God. And maybe – just maybe – when we journey together you can offer healing to the wounds within me and I to you.
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)
(To read my full-length reflections on the scriptures, go to www.twentythirdpublications.com)