This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Wednesday, December 28, 2022
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
Sunday before Ash Wednesday
An Invitation to Prayer
Today, if we hear his voice,
let us not harden our hearts. [Cf. Ps 94/95:8]
—Let us answer the invitation to Lent.
Out of the depths I cried to you, O Lord.
O Lord, listen to my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to the sound of my appeal.
For if you keep count of offences, Lord—
Lord, who will endure?
Atonement lies with you.
Because of your name I have waited for you, O Lord;
my soul has waited for your word.
My soul has hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch until night let Israel hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord there is mercy and ample ransom,
and he will redeem Israel from all its offences.
A reading adapted from Basil’s Homily on Detachment, 1
I would have thought that, since I prod you so often with my words like a stick, that you would come to think of me as an annoying pain. Yet my criticisms have roused you to goodwill, and my tongue lashings have inflamed you to greater zeal. No surprise in this, for you are spiritually mature. As the Bible says, “Rebuke the wise and they will love you.” I have come to do the same thing again in order to help you evade the traps of the devil who wages an intense battle with many different stratagems against us each day. Now he attacks us by turning our desires into arrows turned back at us. The jealous enemy now wins his battle over us by taking advantage of our lack of understanding. He acts like those thieves who want to get rich at the expense of other people but who cannot do it openly. So they spy out a place on the highway, perhaps in a gully or in a thicket, and hide there and then they pounce on an unwary traveler. Our ancient enemy, hostile from the beginning, acts in just the same way.
O God, let me take to heart the advice of Paul to Timothy, to continue to grow in the power that comes from Christ Jesus. Make me a good soldier enlisted by my Lord, and help me to persevere in enduring the cost of discipleship. Let nothing in my life trip me up in following him faithfully. Amen.