By Corrinne May
Two Fridays ago, after I picked Claire up from school, we walked through the church on the way back to the car and there was Jesus on the altar in the monstrance. It was the first Friday and so they were having Eucharistic Adoration in the church.
Claire and I knelt down and I tried to pray, but Claire was wiggling away and getting bored. “Count how many candles there are on the altar,” I said, hoping she’d be occupied with her new task and leave me a little time to pray.
She took a moment to count the candles. There were 14 candles all together, 7 on each side of the monstrance. After deliberating for a while, Claire said, “There are 15 candles Mama…14 candles and Jesus!” I felt so proud of my little one.
As the prophet Isaiah says: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (9:2). But how shall this light be seen if we clutter it out of our lives? Imagine a room filled to the brim with boxes and old toys, and old books, and dust. If one were to light a candle in the middle of the room, it would hardly be seen. But if that room were to be free of clutter, how brightly that light would permeate the entire room.
So it is with our hearts. We need to de-clutter the room of our hearts so that the light of Christ can fill our hearts.
I remember the homily from the second Sunday of Advent two years ago, where the priest in his homily talked about how, just as expectant parents prepare the crib and the room for a new baby, we too, need to prepare the room of our hearts for our Savior’s birth.
And what gift should we give to the Infant Jesus this Christmas? Well, I asked Claire during the last Christmas, what she would be giving Jesus as her present. She replied: “Er…perhaps a new cross? Because the one He has now is pretty rusty.”
I was tickled by Claire’s response, but on hindsight, I suppose offering up our crosses and sufferings out of love for the Lord would be a good gift indeed. That, and the gift of our hearts.