This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Sunday, August 22, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
The physician gets his knowledge from God,
and his sustenance comes from the authorities.
—His knowledge makes him respected,
and gives him access to those in authority.
So let us thank God with praise! (Sirach 38:2-3)
You open the springs in the valleys—
water flows between the mountains.
All the beasts of the field will drink—
the wild asses look to slack their thirst.
The birds of the sky lodge nearby,
they give voice from among the rocks.
He waters the mountains from his heights,
and the earth is fed with the fruit of his work.
He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and vegetation for the service of people,
to bring bread from the earth:
wine to cheer the human heart,
oil to make their faces glow,
and bread to sustain the human heart.
The trees of the plain are well nourished,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
The sparrows build their nests there,
the herons make their home at their top.
The high mountains are for the deer,
and the rocks are the refuge of the badgers.
From Basil’s Long Rules, question 55:
Just as we would have no need of the farmer’s work and labor if we were living amid the delights of Paradise, so we would not require the medical arts for relief if we were immune to disease, as was the case—by God’s grace—before the fall at the time of creation. After our exile to this place, however, and upon hearing the words, “You shall eat your bread in the sweat of your brow,” and by God granting us understanding and knowledge of this art, we devised the art of agriculture through prolonged effort and diligent labor in ploughing the soil for the alleviation of the misery that followed the curse. And when we were joined to this pain-ridden flesh and doomed to disintegration because of sin—and for that reason subjected to disease—and mandated to return to the earth from which we had been taken, the medical arts were given to us to relieve the sick, at least to some degree.
All through the year the earth produces various things for our consumption. Truly, “there is a season for everything under heaven.” As summer begins to fade into autumn, Father, may we be more aware that the same is true of our mortal frame, and those of others. May we be quick to alleviate the pains of others physically as well as spiritually, whether by our direct service or our charitable contributions or sincere prayers, and may we be equally mindful that we, too, are in need of your kindness when our strength fails. Amen.