Cleaning Up for Christmas

Bishop Caggiano’s 12/22/2017 Reflection
“The last item that I remember being part of our family’s annual Christmas “preparations” was what mom called “house cleaning”. For my part, I did not think the house needed to be cleaned in any special way, since everything always seemed to me to be spotless.

However, Christmas house cleaning meant cabinets were to be cleaned, Christmas dishes unpacked, bedrooms were to be “straightened out” and all the floors washed. Since I was more of an obstacle than a help in this project, I was always given permission to spend cleaning day with my friends playing ball. For this reason alone, I loved Christmas cleaning day and often wondered what it would have been like if mom decided to extend it to every religious and civil holiday!

The purpose of cleaning the house before Christmas was twofold: (1) to have a place that was worthy of receiving guests during the Christmas season and (2) especially ready to offer our very best to the Lord. It was as much a sign of faith as it was an act of courtesy.

What I have come to realize over the years is that true Christmas house cleaning must include the “house” that is your heart and mine. For it is more important to welcome guests into our hearts than into our physical homes. It is our heart that must be the place where we welcome the Lord Jesus, not simply on Christmas morning but every day of our lives.

Have you and I attended to the “house” of our heart? Does it need cleaning? If so, there is still time to examine our conscience, face our sins, go to Confession and have a house worthy for any guest to enter, especially the Child born in Bethlehem.”