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

Devotion for Friday, January 19, 2024

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

An Invitation to Prayer

Returning to Galilee on the arrest of the Baptist
you began your ministry of teaching and healing.
-Lord Jesus, teach me your ways,
and heal me in soul and body from what ails me
that I may serve you in full vigor of body and soul.

Psalm 17/18:40-46

You have girded me with strength for battle.
You have hammered under me all those who rose up against me.
You have caused my enemies to turn tail before me,
and you have destroyed those who hated me.

They cried, but there was no one to rescue them;
even to the Lord, but you would not listen.
I will pulverize them like dust in the wind;
I will trample them like mud in the streets.

Deliver me from the grumbling of people;
set me at the head of the nations.
People I never knew served me,
as soon as they heard they obeyed me.
The children of aliens flattered me,
The children of aliens grew old and lost their standing.

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

Verse four says that the Proverbs make the innocent shrewd. This noble shrewdness adds an astuteness born of experience to one’s natural purity, so as to protect the innocent from the attacks of the enemy like a shield. I think a perfect individual needs to be prudent with respect to what is good, and pure with respect to what is evil, and so the Proverbs are like a well from which an innocent person draws this benign shrewdness. It may be defined as doing everything with skillful resourcefulness. So then, since a shrewd person must deal with all kinds of things-both good and bad-the word itself has two meanings. On one hand it is evil if an individual is ingenious in harming others. On the other hand it is good if an individual seeks to benefit himself intelligently and insightfully, avoiding the harm others might conspire for him out of treachery and deceit. Understand the precise meaning of the word. It is a neutral state of mind which may be used for good or ill.

A Prayer

O Lord, you were an intimate friend of Lazarus and his sisters. His death brought tears to your eyes and power to your voice so that you summoned him back to life from the fetters of death. Now, Lord, our very life, renew us by the power of your Spirit so that we might concern ourselves with the lives and needs of others and one day come to share eternal life all together with you in your heavenly kingdom.