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

Devotion for Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

Thursday following Ash Wednesday

An Invitation to Prayer

Entering the arena of Lent,
let us discipline our bodies,
—and let us seek the Lord in prayer and repentance.

Psalm 50/51:8-11

Look! You love truth.
You made clear to me the obscure and opaque aspects of your wisdom.
You will sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be purified,
you will wash me and I shall become whiter than snow.
You will have me hear of joy and gladness—
crushed bones will rejoice.
Turn your face away from my sins
and blot out all my offences.

A reading adapted from Basil’s Preface to The Long Rules

We must not fritter away the time at hand out of chronic sluggishness so that when he orders us to appear we will not present ourselves without good works at hand and so be refused a place at the wedding banquet and be left to regret the squandering of our lives in sinful pursuits when repentance is no longer possible. “Now is the acceptable time,” Saint Paul says, “The day of salvation is now.” This is the time for repentance; the next life for recompense. Now is the time for endurance; then will come the day of consolation. Now God is the helper for those turning from evil, then he will be the judge of all human thoughts, words and deeds. Now we enjoy his patience, then we will face his just judgments when we have been resurrected, some to life everlasting and some to eternal punishment—everyone recompensed by their deeds. How long shall we defer our obedience to Christ, who has called us to his heavenly kingdom? Shall we not rouse ourselves to sobriety? Why won’t we turn from our accustomed way of life to the strict observance of the Gospel?

A Prayer

O Lord, you were an intimate friend of Lazarus and his sisters. His death brought tears to your eyes and power to your voice so that you summoned him back to life from the fetters of death. Now, Lord, our very life, renew us by the power of your Spirit so that we might concern ourselves with the lives and needs of others and one day come to share eternal life all together with you in your heavenly kingdom. Amen!