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Sunday, September 19, 2004

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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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grace and peace

"Prayer of this kind is good, and God our Savior is pleased with it, for He wants all men to be saved." —1 Timothy 2:3-4

Jesus died on the cross so that all would be saved from sin, death, and damnation. We are saved by His grace, which we must decide to accept by faith (Eph 2:8) and live in love with all our hearts (see Lk 10:27). The decisions to accept God's saving graces are the most important decisions of our lives.

However, these decisions are extremely difficult to make, for we are strongly pressured by the world, the flesh, and the devil to choose pride, pleasure, and selfishness rather than God's grace and love. But the Lord calls us to "lead undisturbed and tranquil lives in perfect piety and dignity" (1 Tm 2:2). In this context, we are much more likely to repeatedly choose grace and thereby salvation.

Consequently, we must make it a priority to pray for everyone, particularly for godly leaders who will set up a society of peace, tranquility, and respect for human rights (see 1 Tm 2:1ff). We must then submit ourselves to the godly authority of pastors, government leaders, husbands, parents, employers, etc.

Our culture of death sets us up to reject grace after grace by making bad decision after bad decision. However, a civilization of love in which we live "undisturbed and tranquil" lives brings out the best in us as we decide again and again to live in grace. Grace and peace to you.

Prayer:  Father, show me the relationship between lifestyle and grace.

Promise:  "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other or be attentive to the one and despise the other. You cannot give yourself to God and money." —Lk 16:13

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, our Peace! (Eph 2:14)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004