At Thanksgiving, we recalled the gift of freedom we have as being part of this country. We ourselves or our forebears were once sojourners looking for a life of freedom. During this next week of Advent, known as Posadas time by Spanish and Mexican peoples, let us open our hearts in welcome to others who are oppressed. Many persons today are in search of a better life for themselves and their families. They are like Mary and Joseph looking for adequate housing but having to settle for less, like an animal shelter to rest and give birth as Mary did. Who in our neighborhoods and homes need our helping hand or our good word? In what ways can we shelter others from the cold? God, open our hearts to be present to those in need during this Posadas time.