Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” (Mt 10:5a,6-8)
Jesus always challenged His followers to look beyond their own wants and needs. He wanted them to focus on all those around them who had needs. When His followers saw anyone in need, Jesus wanted His followers to help.
That was the message a couple thousand years ago and it is the same message for us today: Help others.
St. Nicholas, whose memorial we celebrate today, did just that.
We may not know a whole lot about him; however, what we have heard about him focuses upon Nicholas’ extreme charity toward others. In particular, as the story goes, there was a man in Nicholas’ village who had three daughters. The man was poor and could not afford a dowry for the three daughters’ marriages. Because of that, the daughters were in danger of being forced into prostitution.
Bishop Nicholas did not want to see that happen. Instead, on three separate occasions, he tossed a bag of gold coins through the window of their home. The man was able to afford the dowry and the daughters were able to marry.
In helping the girls, Nicholas enabled them to live happily and without shame.
We know the need of many around us. Because we know their need, Jesus wants us, like Nicholas, to do something for them so that their need does not drag them down.
For his overwhelming charity toward others, Nicholas’ story has evolved into Santa Claus. How will our story develop?
FAITH ACTION: Try to do something for someone in need today. If the opportunity does not arise for you, pray for those in need that they may be helped.