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

Devotion for Monday, January 1, 2024

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

The Eighth Day of Christmas: New Year’s Day

An Invitation to Prayer

The Lord shed the first drops of his blood for us at his circumcision,
and in his naming we are given a password to Paradise;
a name above all names.
At its mention let every knee bend, in heaven and on earth,
and every tongue confess it to the glory of God the Father.
Cf. Phil. 9
–All hail the power of Jesus name!

Psalm 62/63:1–6

O God, my God, I come early to you,
my soul thirsting for you.
How often my body craved for you
in a desolate land, inaccessible and without water.
So I have appeared before you in the Holy Place
to see your power and your glory.
Your mercy is more potent than life,
so my lips will acclaim you.
I will bless you all my days;
I will lift up my hands in your name.
May my soul be satisfied, as though with fat and cream,
and my exuberant lips will praise your name.

A reading adapted from Basil’s, Homily on Proverbs 1:1–5

Like a seasoned hunter who wants to test how his hounds will do in the hunt, our bishop has assigned me to give an explanation of the beginning of the Book of Proverbs. Everyone knows how difficult this is going to be. We know all three books credited to Solomon: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. Each was written for a particular purpose, but all for the benefit of humanity. Proverbs instructs us in ethics and channels our appetites. It teaches us how to live, and advises us wisely about how to behave. Ecclesiastes touches on the study of nature and shows us its impermanence so that we don’t become obsessed with passing things. The Song of Songs, using the metaphor of bride and groom, shows how souls reach perfection. It deals with the soul’s intimacy with God the Word. A Prayer for the Circumcision of the Lord
Sitting above with the Father and the Spirit,
you humbled yourself to be born of the Virgin here below
and to be circumcised on the eighth day as a man,
renewing the ancient covenant with your own blood.
Glory to your condescension, O Christ!

A Prayer to St. Basil

You have become an immoveable foundation for the Church,
leaving us a patrimony which can never be stolen,
your celestial wisdom and guidance.
Pray to Christ for us and our Order, O Holy Basil!