This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Monday, March 22, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
Monday after the Fifth Sunday in Lent
Jesus is sent news of Lazarus’ illness,
but tarries saying that it is not fatal.
An Invitation to Prayer
You prophesied on the other side of the Jordan
that Lazarus’ illness would not be fatal, O Jesus,
but would serve to display the glory of God.
—Now we praise you for your mighty and powerful victory,
the destruction of death for the sake of your mercy.
Let them acknowledge to the Lord his mercy
and his marvels for the human race,
for he smashed the bronze gates,
and snapped the iron bars.
He drew them out of their lawless way,
for they were brought low because of their offences.
Their souls loathed all food
and they were heading to the gates of death.
They cried out to the Lord in their affliction
and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent his word and healed them,
and snatched them from their destruction.
A reading adapted from Basil’s Long Rules, Question #6, cont.
To begin with, a soul looking at the crowd of other offenders does not have occasion to become aware of its own sins and to embrace penance for its errors. On the contrary, by a comparison with those who are worse, it acquires a certain self-deception of righteousness. Secondly, because of the disturbances and involvements which life in society naturally engenders, the soul—being drawn away from the more worthy recollection of God—pays the penalty of not finding joy or gladness in God and of not relishing the delights of the Lord or tasting the sweetness of his words so that it cannot say, “I thought of God and was happy (Ps 76:3),” and “How sweet to my palate your promise, sweeter than honey in my mouth.” (Ps. 118:103) And worse still, it becomes habituated to a disregard and a complete forgetfulness of God’s judgments, and there can be no greater misfortune; it is fatal.
You have granted us to come to this day, O Lord, in the expectation of that sacred week in which we shall see Lazarus raised from the dead. Now grant us, you servants, to continue in awe and respect before you as we approach the end of the Lenten campaign, as we think of you approaching on a donkey as the king who will lead all the nations to your Father. Allow us to prepare our virtues as the palms that will acclaim and welcome you, and permit us to praise you for your love and self-sacrifice by which you snatched us from eternal death. Amen.