December 6 is the Feast of St. Nicholas, a 4th century bishop in the Roman province of Lycia. In America, we have come to know him as Santa Claus. Richard John Neuhaus, in his Advent meditation in the book, God With Us, tells us more about the real St. Nicholas. According to tradition, he was a holy and compassionate man, who used the generous inheritance he had received from his parents to help those in need. One legend tells of his generosity to a family who was destitute. He tossed three bags of gold into an open window (or down the chimney in some versions), thereby helping them out of poverty.
Jesus came to deliver us from our spiritual poverty by giving us the most wonderful gift of eternal and abundant life. As we celebrate his birth this year, let us pray that we will have the eyes to see and the ears to hear where we can be like St. Nicholas to those in our communities and in our own families.
As I John 4:9 & 11 tell us, “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. Dear friends, since God loved us that much we surely ought to love each other.”