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See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. ~ 1 John, 3:1

Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love is a pastoral letter released by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops in November to fight racism.

The letter, spearheaded by the Cultural Diversity in the Church Committee, aims to “combat the scourge of racism in the hearts and minds of the faithful, in our own church communities and in the structures of society.”

This comes as a response to growing racist and discriminatory acts around the world: the reappearance of hatred signs in public spaces, racial profiling and discrimination in hiring, housing, educational opportunities and immigration.

“Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. Your every act should be done with love” (1 Cor 16:13-14)

Advent is a season calling us to make straight the paths of justice and peace. And as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Christ child, the U.S. Bishops encourage us all—as children of God—to open our hearts to all, regardless of race, color or creed.

For more information, visit the USCCB website. To read the full text of the Bishops’ letter on combatting racism, click here.

Let us pray to the Blessed Mother Mary to intercede on our behalf:

Mary, friend and mother to all, through your Son, God has found a way to unite himself to every human being, called to be one people, sisters and brothers to each other. We ask for your help in calling on your Son, seeking forgiveness for the times when we have failed to love and respect one another. We ask for your help in obtaining from your Son the grace we need to overcome the evil of racism and to build a just society. We ask for your help in following your Son, so that prejudice and animosity will no longer infect our minds or hearts but will be replaced with a love that respects the dignity of each person. Mother of the Church, the Spirit of your Son Jesus warms our hearts: pray for us.

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