December 9—Corruption involves an abuse of entrusted power by dishonest or unethical conduct that leads to personal gain. It takes many forms: intimidation, especially of those without power, in order to hold onto power; bribery; corruption of the electoral systems; silencing of whistle blowers; lawbreaking without having to face consequences because of one’s power position within the community; etc. It undermines social and economic development. Corruption affects all countries of the world, undermining moral integrity and destroying honesty and loyalty. This day calls people around the world to reject corruption wherever it is found in their communities. By making this way of acting unacceptable, and by refusing to cooperate with corruption, ordinary people can again begin to take control of their lives and to build a society of integrity and justice.

Lord, help us to create just societies where every person is equal under the law and where each person’s dignity and safety is protected by just laws. Help us to confront corruption and give us the courage to refuse to participate in it. Let us each work for the common good, so that all may be able to live in freedom.