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Sunday, September 23, 2001

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25th Sunday Ordinary Time

Amos 8:4-7
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Psalm 113
Luke 16:1-13

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environmental prayer and fasting

"First of all, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered for all men, especially for kings and those in authority." —1 Timothy 2:1-2

Our priority should be to pray for those in authority. This kind of prayer is good and pleasing to God (1 Tm 2:3). This kind of prayer leads to the type of society in which people will have the best opportunity to be saved and to know the truth (1 Tm 2:4). This prayer should be led by Christian men publicly and visibly. Paul stated: "It is my wish, then, that in every place the men shall offer prayers with blameless hands held aloft, and be free from anger and dissension" (1 Tm 2:8).

Pope John Paul II has taught that prayer should be accompanied by fasting if it is to be used by God to change our culture of death (The Gospel of Life, 100). He maintained that prayer combined with fasting was both the first thing we should do (see 1 Tm 2:1) and the most effective (The Gospel of Life, 100).

Therefore, let us (especially men) first of all pray and fast so that we can be most effective in changing our society from a culture of death to an environment of salvation and truth and then to a civilization of love and life.

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, help me in my weakness to pray and fast as I ought (see Rm 8:26).

Promise:  "The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!" —Am 8:7

Praise:  Praise Jesus, risen Lord and Intercessor, "always able to save those who approach God through Him" (Heb 7:25).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001