It is finally here—the holiday season with all of its shopping, parties and hoopla. This year, let’s take a few moments during the season to remember the spirit of St. Nicholas.
There are many inspiring stories of the patron saint of children. The following is one of those stories. It rings true even today. Many people are in need. Many of those in need are in need for the first time in their lives. Let’s try to do something as Nicholas would have—without expecting anything in return.
During a famine in Myra, Bishop Nicholas worked hard to find grain to feed his people. He learned that cargo ships bound for Alexandria with cargos of wheat were to anchor in Myra’s harbor, Andriaki. The bishop asked the captain of the ship to please sell some of the grain from each of the ships to feed his people and relieve their suffering. The captain said he could not because the cargo was meted and measured. In other words, the cargo has already been accounted for at the beginning of the voyage, and he was responsible for having the same amount of cargo at the end of the voyage. If he did not have the same amount of cargo, he would be responsible for the shortage. Nicholas assured the captain that there would be no problem with the grain when it was delivered. Reluctantly, the captain finally agreed to take 100 bushels of grain from each of the ships. The grain was unloaded, and the ships continued on their voyage to Alexandria.
When the ships arrived at their destination, and the grain was unloaded, it was weighed and measured, and weighed exactly the same as when it was put on board. As the story was retold, the emperor’s ministers worshiped and praised God with thanksgiving for God’s faithful servant, Nicholas.
Back in Myra, Saint Nicholas distributed the grain to everyone in need, and no one was left hungry. The grain lasted for two years until the famine ended. There was even enough grain to provide seed for a good harvest.
Do we help others to make sure they have enough seed to provide a good harvest? Do we give them a moment in a day to see the goodness in ourselves?
The spirit of St. Nicholas need not be a big thing-- just a little something would.be a great way to help others in a way that St. Nicholas did, without expecting anything in return.