Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 1 John 4: 8-9
Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. We struggle to think of St. Nicholas without thinking of, well, St. Nick, that “jolly old elf.” But St. Nicholas was more than a giver of gifts. Yes, Nicholas of Myra was a man of deep Christian faith who sought to share that faith with a world that, even then, lay in the grip of darkness. Today, we might remember the millions and millions of children who die or struggle each year from preventable disease or starvation (imminently avoidable). St. Nicholas’ life was a call for us to use our resources, our hearts, and our understanding of who Jesus Christ is to begin the work of elevating every human to a life lived without the fear of disease, extreme poverty, or violence. WE have a long, long way to go, don’t we? But the Gospel of Mark, 10: 13-16, reminds us that it is to the little ones, the vulnerable, and the hungry that the kingdom of God belongs. We are inheritors of the great blessing of God’s unshakable love in Jesus Christ. Love mandates that we bless the children and all who call out in the night, in the darkness, for relief.