This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Friday, December 31, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
The Seventh Day of Christmas, New Year’s Eve
The Lord is great and worthy of supreme praise
in the city of our God on his holy mountain,
established as the joy of all the earth:
the peaks of Zion, the slopes of the north,
the city of the great king.
God is known within its walls,
for he is committed to it.
Look, the kings of the earth came together and gathered there.
They saw it and were amazed;
they were awestruck and trembled,
and they shook, like someone in labor.
You will shatter the ships of Tarshish with a violent wind!
We saw what we heard of
in the city of the Lord of celestial forces,
in the city of our God,
which he established forever.
A reading adapted from Basil’s, Homily on Matthew 19, 16-22
There are many who fast, pray and engage in so many devotions as long as it costs them nothing. But they won’t part with a penny to help those in distress. What profit is there in all their other virtues? There is no place for them in the Kingdom of Heaven because “it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a wealthy person to get into the Kingdom of God.” Your heart is tested, as it were, upon the fulcrum of a scale, leaning now toward true life, and now towards the enjoyments of the present. It befits sensible people to recognize that they have received wealth in trust, not for their own enjoyment, so that when they part with it they are as happy as one who repays a loan instead of becoming depressed like someone robbed.
You have told us Lord, that you love a cheerful giver. Grant that we may develop a sense of joy in being able to assist others, here and abroad, through our Order and on our own. May the New Year be a time for generosity, and may we be made more joyful by our willingness, even our eagerness, to demonstrate the generosity that shows us to be someone who loves others as we love ourselves.
St. Basil is remembered tomorrow, January 1st, in the East and West. The reading tomorrow is from the earliest known sermon given by Basil as a newly ordained priest.