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believeThere seems a direct relationship this morning between the feast of St. Nicholas which we celebrate today and the incident from Matthew’s gospel about two blind men who ask Jesus to have pity on them. We’ve already commented on the meaning of Santa Claus in our life which goes far beyond the material. As we know, St. Nicholas was a real person whose generosity and care lives on in Santa Claus, and the question is always one of belief in the power of that spirit to affect our lives. It seems, in fact, that every miracle includes an element of faith on the part of some major character in the story that is being recounted. The blind men shouted out to Jesus as he passed by them on the road, but it wasn’t until they followed him into a house and had a conversation – a personal encounter – with him that the real issue came to light. They were, by necessity, it seems, participant in the miracle that restored their sight. Jesus asked them a direct question before he acted; their answer sealed the deal. He asked: Do you believe that I can do this?

This seems a good reflection point for us when we are moved to ask for a large, or even a small, miracle from God.