This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.

Devotion for Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

An​ ​Invitation​ ​to​ ​Prayer​ ​(from​ ​St.​ ​Francis’​ ​​Canticle​) Blessed​ ​are​ ​those​ ​who​ ​endure​ ​in​ ​peace.
—For​ ​they​ ​shall​ ​be​ ​crowned​ ​by​ ​you,​ ​O​ ​Most​ ​High.

Psalm​ ​17(18):1-8
I​ ​will​ ​love​ ​you,​ ​O​ ​Lord,​ ​my​ ​strength.
The​ ​Lord​ ​is​ ​my​ ​bulwark,​ ​my​ ​refuge​ ​and​ ​my​ ​rescuer. God​ ​is​ ​my​ ​help,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​will​ ​trust​ ​in​ ​him,
my​ ​protector,​ ​the​ ​horn​ ​of​ ​my​ ​rescue​ ​and​ ​my​ ​support.

I​ ​will​ ​call​ ​upon​ ​the​ ​Lord​ ​with​ ​praises
and​ ​I​ ​shall​ ​be​ ​saved​ ​from​ ​my​ ​enemies.
The​ ​pangs​ ​of​ ​death​ ​mauled​ ​me,
and​ ​the​ ​torrent​ ​of​ ​lawlessness​ ​slammed​ ​me. The​ ​pangs​ ​of​ ​hell​ ​coiled​ ​around​ ​me,

and​ ​the​ ​traps​ ​of​ ​death​ ​sprang​ ​upon​ ​me.

And​ ​in​ ​my​ ​affliction​ ​I​ ​called​ ​upon​ ​the​ ​Lord and​ ​cried​ ​out​ ​before​ ​my​ ​God.
From​ ​his​ ​holy​ ​temple​ ​he​ ​heard​ ​my​ ​voice— my​ ​cry​ ​before​ ​him​ ​reaching​ ​his​ ​ears.

The​ ​earth​ ​quaked,​ ​and​ ​was​ ​made​ ​to​ ​trembled,
and​ ​the​ ​foundations​ ​of​ ​the​ ​mountains​ ​were​ ​shaken because​ ​God​ ​was​ ​angry​ ​with​ ​them.
Smoke​ ​went​ ​up​ ​from​ ​his​ ​anger
and​ ​fire​ ​was​ ​kindled​ ​before​ ​him,
coals​ ​were​ ​ignited​ ​by​ ​him.

From​ ​Basil’s​​ ​On​ ​the​ ​Judgment​ ​of​ ​God
The only Son of God—our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, by whom all things were made—also proclaimed, “I came down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of the Father who sent me.” And also, “I do nothing on my own,” and, “the Father, who sent me himself, has issued me orders as to what I should say and what I should speak.” (Cf. John 12:49) In the same way, when the Holy Spirit dispenses great and marvelous gifts—bringing everything to everyone—the Spirit speaks only what is heard from the Lord. (Cf. John 16:13) Isn’t there a far greater obligation on the Church of God to be zealous in maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, fulfilling those words in the Acts, “The whole company of believers had only one heart and one soul?” (Cf. Acts 4:32) No one insisted on his or her own will, but were seeking​ ​the​ ​will​ ​of​ ​their​ ​one​ ​Lord,​ ​Jesus​ ​Christ,​ ​all​ ​together.

A​ ​Prayer
We picture the Day of Judgment in the most terrifying images, O God. Surely it will be a time of regret— of remorse for our sins and offences, and of self-reproach for not doing better—but of such an incalculable magnitude that we could literally die from shame. Yet we know that, for those who are really trying to follow you faithfully, you will rush to embrace them, forgive them, and reassure them, telling them to forget the past, for you are “making all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) May I live to hear those words from you.​ ​Amen.