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

Devotion for Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

An Invitation to prayer

Even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart,
and open it with prayer, fasting and contrition.
—Let us return to you, O Lord God,
for you are merciful and compassionate. (Cf. Joel 2:12)

Psalm 101/102:2-6

Hear my prayer, O Lord,
let my cry reach you.

Do not turn your face from me
on the day when I am oppressed;
lend an ear to me on the day I invoke you
and hear me quickly.

My bones are burnt dry,
my days vanish like smoke,
and my heart is dried out
like fodder mowed down.

I forget to eat my bread.
My bones are showing through my flesh
when I sigh in my groaning.

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

Now, what should we think of those who break a lot of the commandments, if they do not serve God like their Father, nor believe that he promised great rewards, nor submit to him as Lord? As the Prophet Malachi says on behalf of God, “If I am a Father, where is my honor? If I am a Master, where is my respect?” After all, the one who fears the Lord shall, as the psalm says, “take great delight in his commandments.” Paul says, “By breaking the law you dishonor God.” (Rom 2:28) How then, if we prefer a life of pleasure to a life regulated by the commandments, can we expect to inherit the blessed life of fellowship with the saints? Any such expectation would be a fantasy in a foolish mind.

A Prayer

Lord Jesus, as your sufferings abound in us as the cost of discipleship, keep us ever mindful that your comfort will also abound in us through you. (Cf. II Cor 1:5) Let us endure the unpleasant and the painful that life in this world brings, remembering that you willingly embraced it by becoming human for us. And may it lead us to greater sympathy with those who are suffering, and to practical efforts to comfort them, as befits an Order of hospitallers. Amen.