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

Devotion for Friday, December 20, 2024

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard


The second Sunday before Ash Wednesday

An Invitation to Prayer

Now is the acceptable time.
Now is the great opportunity.
—Let us hear his voice
    and prepare to walk with him.

Psalm 64 (65): 1-6

A hymn befits you in Zion, O God,
and vows to you fulfilled.

Hear my prayer—
all flesh shall come to you.

The schemes of the lawless have overcome us,
but you excuse our irreverence.

Blessed the one you choose and call,
he will dwell in your courts.

We shall be filled with the good things of your house—
holy is your temple, and amazing in justice!

Listen to us, O God our Savior,
the hope of the very ends of the earth,
and of those far off at sea

From Basil’s Letter #46, to a fallen nun

The great physician of souls, an eager liberator not for you alone, but for all who are enslaved by sin, is ready to heal your sickness. From him come the words—it was his sweet and saving lips that said, “They that are healthy do not need a physician, only those that are sick… I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” What excuse do you have? What excuse has any one when the Lord speaks like that? He wishes to cleanse you from the distress of your illness and to show you light after darkness. The good Shepherd, who left those who had not wandered away, is looking for you. If you give yourself to him, he will not hold back. He, in his love, will not hesitate even to carry you on his own shoulders, rejoicing that he has found his sheep which was lost. The Father stands and awaits your return from your wandering. Only come back, especially while you are yet far off. He will run and hug you and, now that you are cleansed by repentance, he will wrap you in embraces of love.

A Prayer

Your disciples on the road to Emmaus coaxed you, O Jesus, saying that the day was almost over and it would soon be night. Remind us of that approaching night, “when no one can work.” Let us clear the way by sincere and deep repentance so that we may, not only walk in the daytime, but earn the wages of a good servant by heartfelt service and love. Amen.