This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Saturday, May 1, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
Even when we were hostile to God,
we were reconciled to him by the death of his Son.
—So how much more certain can we be,
that reconciled, we will be saved by his life. [Rom. 5:10]
Blessed is the one who fears the Lord,
he will greatly desire his commandments.
His descendents will be powerful on earth,
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Glory and wealth are at home with him,
and his righteousness endures from age to age.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright:
he is merciful, compassionate and just.
The kind person is compassionate and lends,
he will choose his words with discretion.
Because he will never be shaken,
the just person will be remembered forever.
He will never fear bad news.
His heart is ready to hope in the Lord.
His heart is set, so he will never be afraid
until he looks down on his enemies.
He is generous and gives to the poor,
and his righteousness endures for ages of ages.
His horn will be raised up in honor.
The sinner will see and get angry,
he shall gnash his teeth and pine way.
The sinner’s wishes will come to nothing.
From Basil’s Long Rules, Question 20, cont.
We can usually guess who and what sort of person is expected from seeing the appearance and quality of the preparations. The Lord did not praise Martha for being anxious about all the preparations. Rather, he said, “You are worried and troubled by so many things; only a few are needed, only one.” “Few things” refers to the preparation for the meal, and the “one thing” is the purpose of it, only to satisfy need. Solomon, the wisest of all, said, “Give me neither destitution nor immense wealth, give me only what is necessary and sufficient, lest glutting myself I should turn false and say, ‘Who’s going to notice?’ or being poor I should steal and then swear by the name of the Lord.” [Prov. 30:8-9] In every case, though, care should be taken for a good table, yet without going beyond the limit of actual need. And this should be our aim in showing hospitality, to meet the actual needs of our guests. As Paul says, “using the world, not abusing it.” [I Cor. 7:31] Unnecessary expenses are misusing it. We have no money? So what? Our pantry is not full? What of it? The work of our hands is our income. Why do we waste food intended by God for the poor to satisfy the self-indulgent, and so sin in two ways: making the poor suffer even more, and contributing to the vice of self-indulgence of the other.
Father of liberty and salvation, as I come to realize more deeply how much you love me by reflecting on your willingness to give your only Son for me, and how much he loves me by reflecting on his willingness to embrace death for me, I beg you to listen to my prayer, as poor as it may be. May I have unending life and eternal joy through you for the sake of Christ Jesus, your Son, risen from the dead and raised to glory. Amen.