This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Sunday, March 14, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
The Fourth Sunday in Lent
An Invitation to Prayer
The beauty of self-denial begins to glow,
dispelling the darkness of corruption.
—The sanctity of the Lenten season grows brighter
and spells the end to our bad habits.
Proclaim the Lord, for he is kind,
and his mercy is everlasting.
Who can recount the powerful deeds of the Lord,
or is able to give voice to all his acclaim?
Blessed are those who hold to justice,
and who do what is right at all times.
Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people,
notice us when you redeem,
that we may see the benefits of your chosen ones,
and rejoice with the happiness of your people,
and celebrate with your inheritance.
A reading adapted from Basil’s Long Rules, Question #5, cont.
The discipline for pleasing God, in accordance with the Gospel of John, calls for detaching oneself from worldly cares and withdrawing from its distractions… just as the Lord himself bore witness to this authentic single-heartedness for his followers when he said, “You do not belong to the world, I have chosen you from it.” For he declared that the world cannot know God, nor receive the Holy Spirit, when he said, “Righteous Father, the world has not known you;” (John 17:25) and when he spoke of “the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept.” (John 14:17) And so any true disciple of God must cut the ties of attachment to this life, and this is done by a thorough abnegation of old habits. We must wrest ourselves from the compulsions of the flesh and worldly society and be carried—as it were—to another world in our life style. Paul says, “We are citizens of heaven.” (Phil. 3:20) Otherwise it is impossible to achieve our goal of pleasing God because the Lord said, “Every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”
O Lord Jesus, I live in a world where extravagance is prized and fashion seems to be an obligation. By your Holy Spirit lead me to live a life that is simple in its elegance and compelling in its honesty. May I use the material world in a manner that truly serves my real needs, including proper recreation and celebration, and nothing more. Never let me see the accumulation of material wealth as a sign of my worth, but only as something I may put at your disposal for those I care for and serve. Amen.