This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Tuesday, March 23, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
Lazarus remains ill
An Invitation to Prayer
Yesterday and today Lazarus suffers from his illness,
and his sisters send word to Christ about him.
—Get ready, Bethany, to receive your king in joy
and to sing with us his glory.
Let them acknowledge to the Lord his mercy
and his marvels for the human race,
and let them offer him a sacrifice of praise,
and proclaim his works in joy—
those who go over the sea in ships,
doing business across vast seas.
They saw the works of the Lord
and his wonders in the deep.
He speaks, and the storm wind arises
and the waves swell.
They climb toward the heavens,
and then sink down toward the abyss,
and their souls melt in such a cataclysm.
They are dazed and they stagger like drunks,
and all their skill is gone.
They cried out to the Lord in their affliction
and he delivered them from their distress.
He commands the storm wind and it subsides to a breeze,
and its waves are hushed.
They are happy because they are calm,
and he guides them to their desired port.
A reading adapted from Basil’s Long Rules, Question #7:
The question of the necessity of comradeship.
It is dangerous to live in the company of those who pay scant attention to the commandments of God, so should we live a solitary life, or should we associate with like-minded people who share the same goal of the devout life?
I believe that a life shared with a number of people together is more advantageous in many respects. The first reason is that no one of us is self-sufficient with regard to basic necessities but that we depend on others to meet these needs. The foot can do things another part of the body cannot, but lacks other abilities and—without the cooperation of the others—the body as a whole finds itself incapable of carrying on for any length of time. In the same way, in a solitary life things readily at hand may be as good as useless to us and what we need may not be easily available because the Creator made us in such a way as to need help from each other.
You allowed Lazarus to linger in his illness and to taste death. You put off the hopes of Martha and Mary that you would come and heal their brother not to be cruel, but in order to demonstrate how boundless is you power and how irrevocable is your love. May the virtue of hope ever move me to trust in your providence every day and always, but especially in particularly difficult circumstances and even when all seems lost. Amen.