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

Devotion for Tuesday, January 16, 2024

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

An Invitation to Prayer

“If you are God’s child, jump!
Hasn’t he appointed angels to guard you?”
-We pray and invoke you, Lord Jesus,
that your Spirit will prevent us taking foolish risks.Cf. Matt 4:5-7

Psalm 17/18:17-25

He sent from on high and snatched me,
lifting me out of roiling waters.
He will deliver me from my powerful enemies,
and from those who hate me,
even though they are stronger than I.

They had the advantage on the day of my misfortune,
but the Lord was my defense.
He led me into an open place,
and he will rescue me because I am dear to him.

The Lord will reward me because of my righteousness,
he will repay me accordingly for my clean hands.
For I have kept to the ways of the Lord,
and I did not desert my God.

All his judgments were before me
and I did not reject any of his statutes.
And I shall be blameless before him,
and I will keep myself from incurring guilt.

The Lord will reward me because of my righteousness,
he will repay me accordingly for my clean hands.

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

The phrase, “to recognize true justice,” is linked to the next one, “to direct judgment.” Someone not schooled in justice cannot mediate disputes. Unless Solomon knew authentic human nature, he could not have delivered his famous judgment about the baby claimed by two different women. When there was no clear forensic evidence, he appealed to nature and uncovered the hidden truth in the case. So anyone who knows true justice and has learned to give what is due is able to render judgment. Like an archer, the arbiter aims at justice neither by showing partiality nor favoritism, but by aiming for what is fair and unbiased. But someone without an authentic sense of justice, who is motivated by possible gain, from friendship, or even animosity, cannot give true judgment. This is true, not only of magistrates, but of anyone making life’s choices. We all have within ourselves a kind of natural court of justice in which we distinguish good from evil. And so when we choose a course of action we must judge the matter rightly.

A Prayer

Again the enemy approaches you who stand in my stead, and suggests that I flaunt-not only my true gifts and talents-but also my fantasies about myself and my accomplishments. May your Spirit guard me from ever being duped into believing that my ultimate welfare consists in being comfortable and well-adjusted to a way of life that makes my personal pleasure and satisfaction the chief purpose of my existence, from considering any instinct to sacrifice for others something foolish, and even to the point of abandoning my duty, my vows, and my commitment to you.