From today's reading: '"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22: 37-39
Today is the day set aside for the remembrance of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in the area of Turkey. Nicholas is remembered for his love of God and others and for his generosity in giving to the poor. One story told involves a poor man with three daughters who was unable to provide dowries for this daughters. To save the daughters from a life of prostitution, Nicholas walked by the house three night in a row and threw a bag of gold coins through the window - one for each daughter's dowery. (In colder regions it was said he threw them in through the chimney.) For this reason, anonymous gifts are said to be from St. Nicholas and he has therefore come to be identified with gifts given to the poor during the Christmas season.
Nicholas was one who demonstrated love of God and neighbor through his generous gifts to those in need. This Christmas season, take time to remember those in need, and to express God's love in tangible ways following the example of St. Nicholas.