This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Friday, February 26, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
Call upon the Lord; he will listen.
Cry out to him; he will answer
—He will say, here I am!
It is time! Arise and take pity on Zion,
for it is time to show compassion for her;
for your servants delight in her stones,
and take on for her dust.
Then the nations will fear your name, O Lord,
and all rulers your glory.
For the Lord will rebuild Zion,
and be seen in his glory.
He has considered the prayer of the lowly,
and will not scorn their plea.
Let this be written for a future generation
so the people yet to be born will praise the Lord.
For he has gazed from the height of his Holy Place,
looking down from heaven upon the earth,
listening to the groaning of those in chains,
to free the children of those put to death,
to proclaim the name of the Lord in Zion,
and his praise in Jerusalem,
when the people are gathered together,
even kingdoms, to serve the Lord.
A reading adapted from Basil’s Preface to the Long Rules
We have been taught who will receive mercy. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy,” says the Lord. You see with what discernment he bestows mercy, neither being merciful without judgment, nor judging without mercy. The Lord is merciful and just. Let us not, therefore, know God by halves, nor make his loving kindness an excuse for our indolence, for he who causes the sun to rise also brings blindness upon people, he who sends the rain also brings the rain of fire. By one he shows his goodness, by the other his severity. For the one moves us to love him, the other to respect him—so that we may never hear it said to us, “Do you think his priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience is a triffle, unaware that the kindness of God should lead you to repentance? By your stubbornness and impenitent heart you are amassing wrath for yourself on the Day of Wrath?” (Rom 2:4&5)
As we bring to a close this first full week of Lent, in which our first steps may have been unsure and halting, we beg you to increase in us the Holy Spirit with all its marvelous gifts, and make us ready to do better in the weeks to come in discerning the quality of our relationship with you, O God, and the caliber of our deeds. Through the Holy Spirit, with whom we have been sealed, branded as yours, make us indeed—in mind and heart—your good servants. Amen.