This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Thursday, April 15, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
God saved us by a baptism of new birth,
and renewed us by the Holy Spirit.
—That we might be justified by his grace,
and inherit eternal life in hope. [Titus 3:5b-7]
Sing a new song to the Lord,
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord and bless his name,
proclaim his salvation from day to day.
Proclaim his glory among the nations,
and his marvels to all the people.
For the Lord is great,
and to be greatly praised,
more awesome than all the gods.
All the gods of the nations are demons,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Respect and beauty precede him,
holiness and majesty in his sanctuary.
From Basil’s Long Rules, Question 8, cont.
To say it bluntly (but true nevertheless) Paul compared his scrupulous observance of the Law to physical excrement that disgusts us and which we dispose of as soon as possible. To put it another way, the benefits of the precepts of the Law, given by God to be temporary, can become an obstacle to our knowing Christ and his justice, and to our conforming to his death. Can human conventions be any better? Why do we have to justify our claims by arguments or the example of holy people, when we can cite as evidence the Lord’s words and thus put to shame the anxious soul? His testimony is clear and irrefutable. “Anyone of you who does not renounce all that he possesses cannot be my disciple.” And also, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you have and give it to the poor and (he adds) come, follow me.”
Almighty God, we are reminded that no soldier gets involved in business affairs. [II Tim 2:4] Lead me by the Holy Spirit to live like a true soldier, to do what is my duty to do, to keep those things that are truly needed for my work and my family, and to refrain from being swept up in a greed for more. Let me practice a healthy simplicity, appropriate to my mission, so that the goods of the world will not become my master rather than your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.