This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Wednesday, March 24, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
Lazarus dies and is buried
and Jesus starts back to Bethany
An Invitation to Prayer
Today Lazarus is buried and his relatives weep.
Yet at a distance you say he is only asleep.
—You will come and revive him and we will sing,
Glory to your sovereign power, O King!
Let them acknowledge to the Lord his mercy
and his marvels for the human race.
Let them exalt him in the gathering of the people,
and praise him at the session of the elders.
He turned rivers into deserts
and streams of water into dry ground,
a fruitful land into a salt flat
for the wickedness of those who lived there.
He turned the desert into pools of water,
and arid land into streams of water.
He settled the hungry to live there,
and they built cities to live in.
They sowed the fields and planted vineyards,
and produce a harvest of crops.
He blessed them and they increased greatly,
and their cattle did not diminish.
A reading adapted from Basil’s Long Rules, Question #7, cont.
Apart from this practical consideration, the law of love in Christ precludes a person from being concerned solely with his or her personal interests. As Paul says, “Love does not look out for its own interests.” (I Cor. 13:5) Such self-interest is completely contrary to the rule of love that he fulfilled, for he was not looking out for his own benefit but for what might promote the salvation of others. (Cf. I Cor. 10:33) People living a solitary life will not easily perceive their own faults, since they lack someone to gently challenge or admonish them with sympathy. While such admonitions from an enemy will often move prudent people to want to correct themselves, note that the undoing of sin is worked best by someone who loves sincerely, for the Bible says, “A loving person will correct at times.” (Prov. 13:24) It is very hard to find someone like that when you live as a hermit, and if your earlier life did not afford you such a person. The solitary learns the truth of the proverb, “It is bad to be alone. You fall and there is no one to help you up.” (Eccles. 4:10)
Almighty God, whose blessed Son, Jesus Christ, went about doing good and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people,
continue—we beseech you—his gracious work through the endeavors of our Order. Prosper our work, O Lord, with your continual blessing,
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen