Living Word: Good Things
Apocalyptic stuff is hard, but the red dragon in the first reading is Rome, with its seven hills and subjugation of nations. John uses his relationship with Mary and the fact of Jesus’ resurrection to reassure those being persecuted that God can foil any evil, no matter how frightening.
In the second reading, Paul could be getting at the fact that we humanly fear death as the end, but the reality is what Jesus showed us; by trusting absolutely in God, death brings new life beyond our imagining.
Then compassionate Mary reveals that our God’s mercy is never-ending.