This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Thursday, June 23, 2022
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
Let the nations hear, “The Lord is king,
he has set the world right, not to be shaken. —He will judge the people honestly.”
Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad. (Ps. 95:10-11)
Listen to my words, O Lord, attend to my cry.
Heed the urgency of my petition, O my king and my God,
as I pray to you, O Lord.
You will hear my voice early.
I will presented myself to you early and watch.
For you are not a God who wants lawlessness. The wicked will not be your guest,
nor outlaws stand before your eyes;
you hate all who do evil.
You will destroy all those who tell lies,
A person of blood and deceit the Lord abhors.
From Basil’s work, On Baptism.
The Lord said, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
his spouse and children, brothers and sisters—in fact, even his own life—cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26) He means the kind of hatred, of course, which inculcates the virtue of piety by withdrawing us from distractions, not the kind that leads us to plot harmful schemes against others. And he also says, “Whoever does not shoulder his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27) This is the very agreement we make when—in receiving the baptism by water—we promise to be crucified, to die, to be buried with him, and so on.
In consideration of our weakness, however, God also willed to establish our hearts in full conviction of the truth by means of stories and thus to induce in us a speedier obedience . . . By the events retold in the Holy Scriptures we are taught the goodness of God and the patience of his severity so that his justice would become clear and we might learn.
O Lord Jesus, you who forgave the thief at his last hour and promised him Paradise that very day, help me to understand how mercy may be part of justice. Help me to comprehend that mercy and justice are not opposites, but that our challenge is to do justice, which often requires mercy; and to be merciful without doing greater harm. Only your Holy Spirit can nudge me in the right direction in my affairs, and I beg you to refresh that Spirit in me. Amen.
Least we forget..