Feast of St Nicholas, Bishop

Is 40:1-11
Mt 18: 12-14


Have you ever been on a long car road trip with children and within an hour they begin to ask ‘Are we there yet?’ I sometimes reflect on how we are so conditioned by the linear experience of time while our Christian Tradition moves in Cycles in its Liturgical Calendar. How during the Season of Advent we are invited to look forward in joy to the glorious Nativity of Jesus… How we are encouraged to bring this past event into the present of our lives again and again. Are we there yet?

The reality is that the Day of the Lord is always near … and Emmanuel means that God is always with us. Evidently we all need to continually live into this reality until ALL people are accepted by everyone else as ‘holy ones’ (wholly one). As Matthew says, God wills ‘that not even the little ones be lost’, and these are many in our world today. Such a divine embrace will bring great enlightenment such as we may only hope and dream about in our waiting and anticipation. We all need to pray and act for Christ’s coming now in us and in our world, and eventually in and for all. Are we there yet?

Today is the Feast of St Nicholas, Bishop, especially significant to our Orthodox Christian families. Born in Turkey, he died December 6, 343 CE. Many stories and legends abound about his brave life and kind deeds, especially in offering gifts to ‘little ones’ – children, the poor, and the sick- not just at Christmas. Our various traditions of ‘Father Christmas’ developed from the myths retold about St Nicholas. What gifts do we discern within ourselves? What gifts do we recognize within others? Do we consider ‘the little ones’ who may need our care today?

We ponder, we wait … we invite the Word to become Flesh in us again within each of us in whatever form our heart holds… as we gift self and others today with our presence.

Pam Storey is a member of the Passionist Faith Community at Holy Cross, Templestowe, and one of the founding members of Passionist Companions. After a very active and varied family, church and working life, Pam is now focusing on developing a slow spirituality.