All Aboard the (Advent) Clean Train

When I was little, one of my sibling and I’s favorite ways to surprise my mom was the “clean train”. We’d clean up almost every room of the house, putting our toys away and straightening our beds. Then we’d dust, clean the glass doors, vacuum, and make sure all of our dirty laundry was in the basket.

After we were satisfied with our cleaning efforts, we’d all go find mom. “Guess what we did!” we’d say as we jumped up and down in excitement. We’d then proceed to form the “clean train” – all of our arms linked together as we gave my mom the tour of our clean rooms.

Although we thought we surprised her, my mom totally knew what was going on. We weren’t the greatest at sneaking around, and even if we were on our sneakiest behavior, the vacuum would still give us away. She probably looked in on us a time or two – since quiet kids usually meant we were making a mess somewhere. But she still acted surprised, as if she had no idea what had been going on for the past few hours. My siblings and I loved finding mom so that we could surprise her – we were so eager to cheer her up with a clean house.

The second reading at Mass this past weekend was from 2 Peter. St. Peter wrote: “Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish, before Him at peace.”

While we were reading through the readings before Mass with our Every Sacred Sunday journal, I thought of the preparations Joseph and I are making during this Advent season. We light our candles daily and pray a reflection. We’ve been to confession. We visit Christ in adoration and bring our Advent petitions to His feet. Every day our candles burn a little lower and we eagerly await the coming of the baby in the manger. We’re working to be ready for Him, cleaning our home and souls from the spots and blemishes.

On a larger scale, I thought about preparing for the day when I’ll meet God face to face in the same way I reminiscence about the “clean train" - especially after confession last week. I can’t wait to tell God about how I responded to His call, and how I loved Him during my time here on earth. He won’t be surprised – after all, He knows every hair on my head. But that same eager feeling I got when I was a kid showing off my clean room will be the excitement I have when I meet my heavenly Father.

He’ll lovingly look at the things I’ve done and how I’ve cleaned my heart for His coming. He’ll see where it took a little bit of elbow grease to clean up, and see where some dust piles still remain. I’m hoping He smiles at me and says “Well done, my good and faithful servant” the same way my mom would say, “Wow! This is so clean! You guys did such a good job!”

When you think about the day you’ll meet our Heavenly Father, what comes to mind?

This Advent, I'm working to regain a spirit of eagerness when it comes to my spiritual life. How is your advent going? Are you eager to talk about you clean soul, wiped free from all of the dust and grime of sin, or are you worried about that pile of laundry that you know you can get rid but you, like me, hate doing laundry? 

Christ wants to fill us with wonder and joy during this period of preparation. After all, we’re just a few short weeks away from His coming at Christmas time. Are you eager for His coming on December 25th? Are you eager for when your time comes to meet Him?