This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Wednesday, December 1, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
Ours is a mighty city in the land of Judah.
The Lord makes our walls and ramparts to protect us. Open the gates to let a righteous nation enter,
one that keeps faith.
A nation that you keep in peace, yes peace,
because it trusts in you. [Cf. Isaiah 26:1-3]
–O come, let us enter!
Forever, O Lord,
your word endures in the heavens;
your fidelity from generation to generation. You established the world and it endures.
By your design they continue to this day, for all are your servants.
If your teaching had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts
for by them you have kept me alive. I am yours, save me
because I seek your statutes.
The wicked had hoped to destroy me, but I studied your pronouncements. I have seen the limits to perfection,
but your commandment is broader still.
A reading adapted from Basil’s, On the Human Condition
“Be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt.5:48) Do you see how the Lord restores to us the properties of the likeness? For “he makes the sun rise on the good and the bad, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.” (Matt. 5:45) If you develop an aversion to evil, free of rancor, not holding a grudge; if you develop a love for your brother and sister and become compassionate, then you are like God. If you forgive your enemy from your heart, you are like God. If–as God is inclined to you, a sinner–you become the same way toward the brother or sister who has wronged you, then by your heart-felt good will toward your neighbor, you are like God. As you have the character of the image by virtue of your reason, by practicing kindness you come to be like God.
“Here we have no lasting city,” but every city can become your promised domain if we live within it with justice and love. May we who live under the banner of the Beatitudes come to live them with such authenticity that, as your workers, we may build the ramparts of peace and open the gates of charity for all, but especially the suffering and the oppressed. May the Beatitudes and the Green Cross be more than a badge for us, may they be the soul of our service to you. Amen!
Note: Our Lady of Guadalupe is remembered in the West and increasingly in Eastern Churches migrating there. The Greek Orthodox also remember Spyridon of Trimythous on Cyprus, a contemporary of St. Nicholas, who has similarly become associate with gift giving.