The month of December at St. Nicholas.

The expression “one Christian is no Christian” punctuates the fact that we are not independent entities. Or more to the point, our salvation is not simply dependent on an individual relationship with a personal Jesus.

Yes indeed each of us has a relationship with Jesus Christ, and it is Him and Him alone as the incarnate Lord of Glory that each and every person from conception to death is offered salvation. But that is done in community, that is done within the context of our families, our friends, and even strangers.

It is life in community where we work out our salvation, where we learn to recognize Christ in our neighbors so that we might recognize him in Glory. But it also in community, especially in the sacramental life of the Church through communion, confession, the anointing with oil , that we are healed, supported, loved and forgiven. We have all felt this at one time or another from certain people and in certain circumstances.

And as Jesus is the God of the living (Lk. 20:38), the prayers and blessed actions of those men and women who passed on before us are not ended. Rather those prayers and actions are made perfect in the risen and glorified Christ. The grace that we receive in community, from our families, parishes, work places, we also receive from the saints who have never stopped loving and caring for us. In fact they pray all the more for us before the Lord without the limitations of time, space, language, or culture. As the Apostle Paul states so beautifully “we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1).

We have this with our patron saint, supporting us in our Christian struggle, and in our journey to Bethlehem as we prepare to meet the king of kings born as a little child for our sake. Pray to God for us Saint Nicholas.

PG