Troparion Tone 6
Saint Nicholas who teaches us faith though perseverance and generosity, pray for us this season and in each season that we may walk with your convictions with Christ, and be a defender of the faith and protect the innocent.
Reading from the Gospel of Luke
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
~Chapter: 11, Verse: 13
Reading from the Book of 2 Corinthians
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
~Chapter: 9, Verse: 7
Gospel of Luke
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter, and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.
~Chapter: 10, Verses: 1 to 9
Saint Nicholas of Myra also known as Nicholas of Bari, was an early Christian bishop of Greek descent from the maritime city of Myra and Turkey during the time of the Roman Empire. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, unmarried people, and students in various cities and countries around Europe. His reputation evolved among the pious, as was common for early Christian saints, and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus (“Saint Nick”) through Sinterklaas.
This patron saint of so many and man of legend did many things in his life while serving good. Including fight with heretics resulting in prison time. While imprisoned it is said he was visited by an Angel to cool his rage and remind him of God’s generosity, during times that were particularly difficult because of famine and war he was known to leave treats and trinkets for small children of the faithful. This generosity is maybe what he is best remembered for. The Spirit of that generosity can still be found in our modern “Santa Claus”.
Perseverance, generosity, kindness, mercy, and strength all embodied in the faith of Saint Nicholas leave us examples to both lead and follow in his path. The faith is not always an easy road without peril or conflict, and even when we wander from it in anger, it can immediately be found again in prayer. Let us be generous in spirit and deed as we face our own struggles and find our strength in prayer to continue on.