This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.

Devotion for Thursday, February 16, 2023

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

An Invitation to Prayer

If “the tongue of a righteous one is silver,
and the mind of the wicked is worthless;” Cf. Prov. 10:20
—may the words we utter in addressing you be heartfelt,
    and may our minds be settled on you at all times.

The Canticle of Moses, Deuteronomy 32:15-18

The Lord alone guided them,
with no alien god at his side,
to establish them on the highlands
to feast on the produce of the earth,
to take honey from the rock
and oil from solid stone,
butter from cows and milk from sheep,
with succulent lambs and rams,
with bull calves and kid goats,
with the finest part of wheat;
and they drank wine, the blood of grapes.

So Jacob ate and was filled,
and the darling grew stubborn.
He grew fat and gross, and coarse
and abandoned the God who made him;
he spurned the God who rescued him.
They provoked him with foreign things,
they embittered him with abominations.
They sacrificed to demons, to “no-gods,”
to gods they had never known,
new ones, the latest arrivals,
whom their ancestors never knew.
They abandoned the God who made them,
they forgot the God who nurtures them.

From St. Basil’s “Lakizois” Homily

(Greed) causes insomnia, worry and anxiety. The more his wealth increases, the more the greedy person worries about his possessions. A judge appears, and the greedy person looks all around, worrying if he is to be dragged into court, or that an orphan might appeal to the judge. At night, he considers which of the orphan’s advocates to cultivate, so he can bribe him for perjury. He schemes how to get the aggrieved to settle and how he might get the upper hand, even by perjured evidence. He plans how he might destroy them both—the judge by misinformation, the orphan by plundering him. The worries of the greedy person consume his soul. A dog barks, and the greedy person thinks there is a thief around. At the sound of a mouse the heart of the rich person begins to pound. He is suspicious of his servants, as well as everyone else. He sees his adult children as plotting against him because it is time to hand over the inheritance.

A Prayer

O God, never let the good things you have given me seduce me away from you. Even if my own efforts had a part in securing these blessings, never let me forget that my very life is a gift from you, along with my talents and the opportunities that have come my way. May I always have true gratitude in my heart for all you have provided me, and then express this gratitude to you by sharing what I have with others in need. Amen.