This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Sunday, April 25, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
Fourth Sunday of Easter
An Invitation to Prayer
Let us sing the praises of the Savior
who was crucified for us.
—And who rose on the third day,
granting us his limitless mercy!
Acknowledge the Lord and call upon his name.
Publish his works to the nations.
Sing to him and make music to him,
and tell of all his wonders.
Take pride in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord and find strength,
seek his face continually.
Remember the marvels that he has done,
and his wonders, and the judgments he pronounced,
you descendents of Abraham his servant,
you children of Jacob, his elect.
From Basil’s Long Rules, Question 19
To what degree must we practice continence?
With regard to the affections arising from our psyche, continence has only one rule, complete abstinence from all that leads to harmful pleasure. With reference to food, as individual needs vary according to age, employment, and health, respectively, so will the use and amount of food differ, and so it is impossible to make one rule for all those pursuing a devout life. As regards nourishment for the sick to provide them relief, or for one who is exceptionally fatigued from strenuous work, or who is about to undertake very arduous work, such as a journey or some other work, those in charge will provide according to need, in conformity with the text, “Distribution was made to each according to need.” [Acts 2:45] It is also impossible to lay down a rule that the time for eating, as well as the manner in which the meal is eaten and the quantity of it, be the same for all. But the same ojective—that it should be as needed—is applicable to all.
Lord Jesus, you went to Bethesda, the Sheep Pool, and found a man among the huge throng of sick people waiting for the motion of the water, and you initiated your ministry to him by the simple question with the obvious answer, “Do you want to get well?” We may chafe at similar questions, even ones we put to ourselves. May your Spirit keep us from impatience with such questions and help us to pause to fathom the deeper possibilities of what we may take for the obvious and the trite, even in your Holy Word. Amen.