Monday of the Twenty-FourthWeek in Ordinary Time
A prayer for the leaders
First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as ransom for all. This was the testimony at the proper time. For this I was appointed preacher and apostle (I am speaking the truth, I am not lying), teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument. 1Tm 2,1-8
Timothy is a young man of Greek father and Jewish mother, who has been side by side with Paul since his second missionary journey. He has been fascinated by his great master and has assimilated his soul and thought. When Paul writes him the letter from which today’s passage is taken, Timothy is responsible for the church of Ephesus. Today’s issue focuses on Christian prayer, which must have a universal mark: we must pray for everybody, without distinction of language and race, for friends and enemies, because everyone has the right to be saved. In particular, Paul says, we should pray for kings, governors and authorities, “that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity”. It is a prayer for our own exclusive sake. At the time when this letter was written, Nero had burned Rome; therefore, when Paul exhorts us to pray for the rulers, he was certainly thinking of him. However, it is seemly that even the people who governmus can live in peace, in order to make right and prudent decisions. It is a prayer that we must say for those who have the duty to rule, from the mayor of a city to those who keep the fate of the world. It is not an easy prayer, especially in our Country, where, if the government belongs to a different political side and ideas from ours, it is more likely that people pray for it to fall. On the contrary, it is important that we pray for the good government of all: local, regional, national, European and world leaders. This is what Paul asks us today for.
Lord, give us wise and farsighted rulers, honest politicians, respectful of their role and the others’ one. Give us, Lord, faithful and conscientious and administrators and also let the parents govern and lead their families well.