“[Jesus] went off to the mountain to pray.” –Mark 6:46
In today’s Scripture readings, love is not contrasted to hate. Rather, love is contrasted with fear (1 Jn 4:18), and the antidote to fear is prayer. Thus, the Lord teaches us that love increases through a relationship with God. Prayer is a conversation with God, with us doing most of the listening and God doing most of the speaking.
Consider a young man and woman in love. They contemplate marriage. Considerable risks and expenses are involved: one spouse might die prematurely, the expenses of bearing, raising, and educating children, risks of home-ownership, with the ever-present possibilities of illness, robbery, fire, storm damage, and so on. While prudence and responsibility demand attention to these factors, the risks involved are not usually the overriding factor. The love-relationship of the couple overrides the accompanying risks, and the couple decides to marry. They spend more time focusing on their mutual love than on the dangers. Their mutual love overrides their fears.
We are to be in a lifelong love-relationship with the Lord. Even more so than the young couple, it is critically important that we spend prime time loving the Lord, worshipping Him, and listening to Him. We grow to know Him in a deep personal way. We learn to trust Him and rest in Him. Our nourished, committed love for the Lord will drive away our fear. If you are afraid, spend more time in prayer. Rest in Him. Be still before Him, and know He is God and Love (1 Jn 4:8, 16; Ps 46:11).
PRAYER: Father, greatly increase my love for You.
PROMISE: “It is I. Do not be afraid!” –Mk 6:50
PRAISE: St. André prayed with many for healings, and the Lord worked “signs and wonders” through him (cf Acts 5:12).