“Christ shows mercy and forbearance and forgiveness for our weaknesses and mistakes and falls. One thing alone He will not forgive us: ruthlessness and hard-heartedness, being indifferent to the pain and need of our brothers and sisters.”
Taking lead from the Gospel reading of the 8th Sunday of Luke, in which the parable of the good Samaritan is presented, Archbishop Makarios of Australia urged the new Presbyter of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, Father Armandos Manafis, that he too acquire a “Samaritan heart”, so that his priesthood also becomes “like the Good Samaritan”, that is “oil and balm of consolation for our suffering brothers and sisters”.
His Eminence advised the ordinand that this task will not be easy, nor will it be effortless. “Perhaps you too,” he pointed out, “will be in danger of the robbers who lie in wait on the road to Jericho, that is, from those lurking ready to accuse you, undermine you, slander you and try to nullify the healing effect of your ministry. You will still need to pay the innkeeper, to spend, that is, your precious personal time, sacrifice your rest, the time spent with your family and loved ones for the sake of your brothers and sisters.
At some point, you may have to return to the inn to pay off the remaining debt. To try again and again, that is, with the same person, to take on yourself, again and again, his own burdens, to endure again and again his same mistake, the same fall…But do not be overwhelmed by the difficulty of the uphill road, nor by the robbers who have set up their ambush, nor by the innkeeper who asks to be paid, because the mercy of God is above everyone and everything and if you appear merciful to your brothers and sisters, the Lord will richly reward you with His own mercy which is immeasurable and abundant without sparing His beneficence and His Grace. So now enter the holy priesthood with an open heart, without being afraid to “waste” yourself for your brothers and sisters and the Lord will bless you in ways you can’t even imagine.”
The ordination of Deacon Fr. Armandos to Presbyter took place on Sunday, 12 November 2023, when we commemorate the memory of Saint John the Merciful, and at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Holy Monastery of Saint Nectarios, in Croydon Park, Adelaide. On this doubly joyous occasion for the local Church, Archbishop Makarios was joined during the Divine Liturgy by Bishop Silouan of Sinope and Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis, Archiepiscopal Vicars of Adelaide and Canberra respectively, and the Holy Clergy of the Archdiocesan District of Adelaide. Among the large congregation were, among others, the Greek-Australian Federal Member of Parliament Steve Georganas MP and relatives and friends of the newly ordained Father Armandos.
The Archbishop duly congratulated and well wished the Clergy and laity of Adelaide on the important milestone of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the historic Monastery of Saint Nectarios, while he paternally asked everyone to pray for the new Presbyter, so that God may fill him with His Grace and strengthen him in his work.