Daily Devotional for June 14-20
Sunday (Reading for Thursday, Feast of Corpus Christi/Body of Christ)
1 Corinthians 11:23…
I have received of the Lord that which also I
delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in
which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks,
he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my Body, which is broken
for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner
also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the
new testament in my Blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in
remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink
this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore
whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord,
unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord.
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread,
and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unwor-
thily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning
the Lord’s Body.
Prayer: O Lord, our God, in Thy goodness and love for men forgive me all the sins I have committed today in word, deed or thought. Grant me peaceful and undisturbed sleep. Send Thy Guardian Angel to guard and protect me from all evil. For Thou art the guardian of our souls and bodies, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
*(Evening Prayer and Confession of Sins)
Practical Commentary…. Daniel 2/3
NABUCHODONOZOR had a dream which terrified him greatly. He saw a large statue; the head was of gold, the breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet part iron and part clay. Then he noticed a stone rolling from the mountain, which struck the statue on the feet and shattered it; and behold, the stone became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. None of the wise men could interpret the dream. Whereupon the king passed sentence of death upon all the wise men. Then Daniel came to the executioner, saying: Do not kill the wise men, but bring me before the king, and I will tell him the solution of the dream. Daniel first told the king that no one but the God of heaven and earth revealeth mysteries, and then proceeded to explain the dream.
The whole statue signified the great empires of the world that would succeed each other. The head of gold betokened the reign of Nabuchodonozor himself, most glorious among kings; the breast and the arms of silver represented the next empire, that of the Medes and Persians; the belly and the thighs of brass prefigured the dominion of Alexander the Great; the legs and feet of iron signified the great Roman empire which conquered all the others. The stone that fell from the mountain typified a new kingdom that God Himself would found on earth, and which, from a small beginning, would gradually grow strong and overcome all other kingdoms, and would last for ever. The king, hearing the interpretation, said to Daniel: “Verily your God is the God of gods, and Lord of kings, and a revealer of hidden things.” He raised Daniel to a high station and bestowed on him many gifts.
Prayer: O come, let us worship God our King.
O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and God.
O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and God.
About this time king Nabuchodonozor made a great statue of gold, which he placed on a pillar in the plain of Babylon. All the princes and nobles of his kingdom were invited to assist at the dedication of this statue. Heralds were sent out everywhere to announce to all the people that when they heard the sound of the trumpets and flutes and other instruments of music, they should fall down and adore the golden statue. And it came to pass that no one disobeyed this order except Ananias, Azarias and Misael.
It was announced to the king that the three young men had refused to worship the golden statue. Then Nabuchodonozor, full of rage, said to them: “Who is the god that shall deliver you out of my hand?” They answered: “Our God, whom we worship, is able to save us from the furnace of burning fire; but if He will not, we will not worship thy god, nor adore the golden statue.” The king then ordered that a furnace should be heated seven times more than ordinarily, and that three of the strongest soldiers of his army should bind the young men and cast them, clothed as they were, into the furnace.
The order was instantly executed. But the angel of the Lord went down with the three holy youths into the furnace, and behold, inside the flames were extinguished, but outside the fires burned and flashed and destroyed the men who had executed the king’s cruel order. They were instantly consumed by the raging fire.
Within the furnace the air was cool and fresh, like to the breeze when the dew is falling. And the three young men, seeing themselves so wonderfully preserved, sang a glorious canticle of praise and thanksgiving, which the Church of God still sings in her divine service.
The king, astonished to hear voices in the furnace singing, rose up and said to his nobles: “Did we not cast three men, bound, into the midst of the fire? I see four men, loose, and walking in the midst of the fire, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
Then going to the door of the furnace, he said: “Ye servants of the Most High God, go ye forth and come.” Thereupon the young men came forth safe and sound: not so much as a hair of their head was burned, nor was the smell of fire on their garments. Seeing this prodigy, Nabuchodonozor blessed God, saying: “Blessed be the God of Ananias, Misael and Azarias, who has sent His angel, and delivered His servants that believed in Him.”
He then decreed that whosoever, in all his kingdom, blasphemed the God whom these young men adored should be put to death, for that there was no other God who had power to save. The three young men were raised to high dignities in Babylon.
Prayer: Soul of Christ, sanctify me, Body of Christ, save me Blood of Christ, inebriate me, Water from Christ’s side, wash me, Passion of Christ, strengthen me, O good Jesus, hear me, Within Thy wounds hide me, Suffer me not to be separated from Thee, From the malicious enemy defend me, In the hour of my death call me, And bid me come unto Thee, That I may praise Thee with Thy saints, and with Thy angels, Forever and ever, Amen.
Commentary on the Three in the Furnace:
The mighty miracle which God wrought in order to save His faithful servants, was a great act of mercy towards the heathen. He thereby revealed His power to the king, and to all the great men of the country, and showed that the very elements obey Him. Everybody could see that Bel, whom the young men despised, was powerless to hurt them, and that the God whom they worshiped was alone Almighty. The king confessed this when he issued the decree that the God of the three youths was the “Most High God, and more mighty than any other god.” He was seized by so great a fear of God, that he forbade any blasphemy against Him, under pain of death.
It is impossible not to admire the fortitude of the three young men, whereby they remained true to their faith, and refused to worship idols in spite of the king’s terrible threats. If they had bowed down before the golden image they would have denied their faith in the true God, and have been guilty of idolatry. But they feared God more than the king, and loved Him more than aught else; so they preferred to be burnt to death rather than offend Him grievously. The abstinence which these noble youths had for so long practised enabled them to attain to heroic fortitude. Their unfailing temperance confirmed them in the fear and love of God, and prepared them for the grace of martyrdom. Finally, their fortitude was rewarded by God saving them from death in a wonderful way.
The example of the three young men shows us that real confidence in God must be united with an entire resignation to His will. They trusted firmly: “God can save us if He will”, said they, and they also prayed to be saved; but they left it entirely to God whether He would save them or not, and declared that in no case would they worship the idol.
Prayer: Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Commentary on Daniel 2/3:
This twelfth promise of the Messias treats of the kingdom of God (i. e. of the Messias) in contradistinction to the kingdoms of this world. The first part of the vision foretold that three great kingdoms would in succession follow Nabuchodonozor’s Babylonian empire. This came to pass. The Medo-Persian empire followed that of Babylon; to that succeeded the Macedonian empire, and to that again the Roman empire. This last was an iron empire, being kept together by the power of the sword; its feet, or foundation, were of iron mixed with earth, and on account of this weakness it fell, first into two separate empires, and finally into many separate states. It would be at this stage of the world’s history, God said, that He Himself would found another kingdom, which would overthrow paganism, and itself remain standing for ever; this kingdom being the kingdom of the Messias. The stone which, without any intervention on the part of man, rolled down the mountain, signifies the Son of God, who came down from heaven, and by the operation of the Holy Ghost became Man. He founded a spiritual kingdom which fills the whole earth, and which will last for ever, namely the Universal Church. Our Lord calls Himself a stone (Mat. 21:42), and St. Peter calls Him the “stone which is become the head of the corner” (Acts 4:11).
Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
1 Corinthians 6:
Glorify God in Body and Spirit
12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body ]and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Prayer: With the Saints, give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy servants, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sighing, but life everlasting.
*Kontakion of the Departed
St John 6:56…
At that time: Jesus said unto the multitude of the Jews: My Tlesh is meat indeed, and my Blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my Flesh, and drinketh my Blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
I Corinthians xi. As often as ye do eat of this Bread and drink of this Cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat of this Bread, and drink of this Cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord,
Prayer: Lord, I have cried to Thee, hearken unto me. Hearken unto me, O Lord. Lord, I have cried to Thee, hearken unto me. Attend to the voice of my prayer, when I cry unto Thee. Hearken unto me, O Lord. Let my prayer be set forth as incense before Thee, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice. Hearken unto me, O Lord.
*Psalm 140 (141)