More on love in our first reading today from 1 John 4. St. John tells us not only WHAT love is, but, more importantly, WHO love is. “God is love.” He also goes on to talk about fear and love. More on that in a moment. In the Gospel reading from Mark 6, we see the Markan version of Jesus walking on the water. When the disciples think that they have seen a ghost, Jesus yells to them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” Words that should ring in our ears every day.
Interesting how these two readings relate to each other. St. John talks about fear. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.” From there we go to Jesus’ words…”Take courage…do not be afraid!” Let’s think about this notion of fear and love briefly.
Have you ever been burned by love? I dare say that we all have. It causes you to fear; to fear falling in love again. You’ve been hurt before, you don’t want to get hurt again. It’s a natural reaction. Invariably we do fall in love again, but it is never the same. Why? Because that fear is always there; always lurking in the background. This is because our love will never be perfect. There are so many other applications of fear blocking our love. We’re afraid of ministering to the homeless, the poor, the handicapped, etc., etc. All because our love is not yet perfect. I can assure you that God will never burn you. His love is perfect. Today, ask God for the grace to love Him, and our fellow man, fearlessly.
Father, you know that we have so many fears that keep us from loving. Teach us to love fearlessly, recklessly, perfectly. Amen.