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OPTIONAL MEMORIAL SAINT NICHOLAS WEDNESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT, DECEMBER 6, 2023





At that time: Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel. Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way." The disciples said to him, "Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?" Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" "Seven," they replied, "and a few fish." He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.


REFLECTION


They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.


St Nicholas was born in AD 270 to a wealthy family. He was orphaned at a very young age and his uncle raised Him to love and fear the Lord. Wanting to follow the teaching of Jesus of giving to those in need, he was very generous to the needy. For instance he paid the dowry of three sisters, fed the poor and cared for others. He took pity on them. He inspired the character known as Santa Claus.


Amidst the glitz, songs, revelry, bargains, the HO! HO! of Santa, our gifts to one another, loved ones, the food drives, the toy drives, the season for giving has started. In Saint Nick we see what following Jesus means. In Jesus we see the utmost generosity of Himself. The people approached Jesus not with lavish gifts or spectacular gifts but they brought their needs and wants: their poor, their lame, the mute. Jesus received them with open arms, cured them. Still with pity for their plight, He performed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes so they would not collapse on the way.


Paul quoted Jesus, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35) Jesus said, "For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you." (Luke 6:38)


God's greatest gift to us is His Son. What will we present to Jesus this Christmas?


God Bless You


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