This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Tuesday, June 8, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
Martha, Mary & Lazarus are remembered in the Byzantine Church on this day.
An Invitation to Prayer
Sing a new song to the Lord.
Let all the earth sing to his name. —Sing to the Lord and bless his name,
speak of his deliverance day in and day out. (Ps. 95: 1-2)
O Lord, why have those who hate me increased? So many rise against me, so many say of me “There is no deliverance for him from his God.”
O Lord, you are my help and my glory, the one who lifts up my head.
I cry aloud to the Lord
and he hears me from his holy mountain.
I lay down and slept.
I awoke again because the Lord supports me. I will not be afraid of ten thousand people surrounding me on all sides.
Get up, Lord! Save me, my God!
You attack all my undeserved enemies, breaking the teeth of sinners.
Deliverance comes from the Lord, and your blessing for your people.
From a Homily by Saint Augustine
Why do we imagine that it was Martha’s serving that was blamed when she was occupied with the demands of hospitality, especially when her guest was the Lord himself? How could she be blamed, no doubt excited over so great a guest. If it were the work itself, let people put aside helping the poor and choose “the better part,” the study of the Word, the delight of spiritual teaching, pursuing spiritual knowledge. Let them not worry about the stranger in the street, the people who need something to eat, or something to wear, or to be visited, to be saved, to be buried. Let the works of mercy cease and all attention fixed on learning. If this is the “better part,” why not have everyone do this since we have the word of the Lord himself to defend the position. There would be nothing to fear in that, even if we offend his justice, because we have the support of his pronouncement. But it is not like that, but as the Lord said. It is not as you understand, but as you ought to understand. So pay close attention. You are occupied about many things, when one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part. You have not chosen a bad part, but she has chosen the better. And in what way is it better? Because you are busy with many things and she with one. One is preferable to many since one does not derive from many, but many from one. You see then, dearly beloved, that in these two women, who were both well pleasing to the Lord, both objects of His love, both disciples; that in these two women the two lives are figured, the life present, and the life to come, the life of labor, and the life of quiet, the life of sorrow, and the life of blessedness, the life temporal, and the life eternal.
O Jesus, who referred to Lazarus as your friend, and who identified his sister, Mary, as someone who has chosen something better in sitting at your feet, may I come to enjoy your friendship by listening to your Holy Word and then, like Martha, set about putting that Word into action. Amen.