This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Sunday, January 15, 2023
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
“If you are the Son of God,
make bread from these stones.”
-Let us be satisfied with a soldier’s rations,
and let us pray to be grateful for all that we have.Cf. Matt 4:2-4
The earth shook. It jerked;
the foundations of the mountains were shaken,
and they quaked,
because God was angry with them.
His wrath smoked,
fire burst from his presence,
coals were ignited because of it.
He inclined the heavens and came down,
with thick darkness under his feet.
He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he flew on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his cover,
the dark waters in the clouds of the air his tent.
The clouds rained hail and burning coals
from the brilliance before him.
The Lord thundered from heaven-
the Most High raised his voice.
He shot arrows and scattered them,
he let loose the lightening and routed them.
The sources of the waters appeared,
the foundations of the world were uncovered
at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your rage.
A reading adapted from Basil’s, Homily on Proverbs 1:1-5
We must also consider that some acts are spawned by malice, while others are not freely chosen. Thus there is no single rule for applying justice in both cases. Take the case of two prostitutes. One woman is sold to a brothel and forced into this evil while her pimp pockets her earnings. Another voluntarily enters the trade either because she finds it exciting or because of the money. Thus the involuntary acts of the first may be pardoned while the deliberate choice of the second is condemned. Or consider someone raised in criminal circumstances from birth, while another may have had a very noble and moral upbringing. Both may commit the same offence, but isn’t the second one more guilty and deserving of a harsher penalty? It is the mark of a great and well developed mind to understand true justice.
Behind archaic language, O Lord, your eternal message speaks to us. We must not put our trust in technology for our ultimate wellbeing. We must respect the small things of life, because they enhance the great. We must learn to love the fast before the feast, as much as the feast itself, the work as much as the reward. Lord Jesus, by the Spirit that led you to confront the temptation of looking for the blessed assurance in the material world alone, deliver us!