First Week after the Epiphany

First Scripture Reading
1 John 4: 11-18
Gospel Reading
Mark 6:45-52

Opening Prayer

God of love, it all sounds so simple and easy. You are love and when we love you, you are present within and among us. Yet, we both know that love is a challenge. So much self-emptying and risk. I am grateful that we can love because You have first loved us and make love possible. You live among us. May the intimacy of Your love eradicate all fear. Lord Jesus, the human image of God’s compassion, fear paralyzes us. Fear grasps darkness. When we are buffeted by the waves of darkness and frightened by fear of sinking, walk by us – be our buoyancy! Let us know that we are not alone – that with you, we will not sink into darkness, pettiness and hatred. May your transforming and calming love enable us to get a hold of ourselves and radiate your love living and shining within us.

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