Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 1:29-39.
On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.
When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.
Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, "Everyone is looking for you."
He told them, "Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come."
So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.
Commentary of the day : 5th century homily on prayer
"He went off to a deserted place, where he prayed"
Prayer, familiar intercourse with God, is our greatest good... Prayer is the light of the soul, true knowledge of God, mediator between God and man. Through it the soul is raised to heaven and holds God inexpressibly in tight embrace. Like a child crying out to its mother, it expresses the eagerness of its desire. It gives voice to its deepest longings and receives in return gifts surpassing all visible nature. For prayer presents itself as a powerful ambassador, rejoicing and pacifying the soul.
When I speak of prayer you should not imagine it to be a question of words. It is a reaching out towards God, an indescribable love, not of human origin, of which the apostle Paul speaks when he says: «We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings» (Rm 8,26). If God grants someone such prayer as this, it becomes for him an everlasting source of wealth and a heavenly food that fills the soul. The one who has tasted it is seized with an eternal longing for our Lord like a devouring fire that sets his heart ablaze.