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Preparing a Planet of Welcome

Advent is well underway! By now, my grandpa has started his weeks-long process of decorating his New York City home and baking the dozens of cookies he’ll pass out to neighbors and family during Christmas week. Everyday, there’s a few more lights up and a few dozen more cookies baked. 

In his own way my grandpa is getting ready for the coming of Jesus by preparing a home of welcome and hospitality. By the day after Christmas he will not only have celebrated the birth of his Savior, he will have welcomed over 100 people into his snug, little home. But when Christmas is over and the lights come down and the cookies have turned to crumbs, my grandpa’s welcome and hospitality will still be there. In watching him over a lifetime, he’s taught me that the task of preparing a home is an ongoing one. 

This Christmas he’ll be preparing for his first great-grandchild. Just as this year he’s getting ready for a new generation, so too should we all. Let us use this year’s Advent to commit ourselves to preparing a planet of welcome. The World Health Organization estimates that between 2030 and 2050 climate change will cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year. This is not the kind of home my grandpa wants to welcome his first great-grandchild into. 

So in this season of preparation and expectation, let us remember not only the importance of preparing for the birth of Jesus but also the importance of preparing for future generations. Let us not repeat the mistake of the innkeeper who refused Mary and Joseph on that fateful night. All children deserve a welcoming home and it is up to use to prepare one for them.

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Wesley Cocozello is the Operations Coordinator & Executive Assistant for Catholic Climate Covenant

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