“Our holy Church serves man to save him from the state of sin, to reconcile him with God, to show him that there is a different path that does not end in the grave and loss, but in life and the Resurrection. And this is exactly what the priest ought to do, that is, to live constantly in the perspective of the Resurrection and to invite the faithful to live this joy of the Resurrection, despite the difficulties and problems of this life. And this joy of the Resurrection is foretasted, precisely, in the Mystery of the Eucharist.”
Archbishop Makarios of Australia stressed the above during the ordination of a new presbyter, which he performed on Saturday, June 10, at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Mount Gravatt, Brisbane, with the participation of many clergy from Queensland and the presence of Bishop Emilianos of Meloa, Archbishop of Brisbane.
It is noted that the ordained, Fr. Panagiotis Simos, is a Doctor–General Pathologist at Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital in Brisbane.
Coming before his Shepherd, he thanked him first for the enormous honor and expressed his gratitude to the Archbishop for his paternal warmth, understanding, trust, and love. “Your heart, which serves with the utmost love and self-sacrifice to our salvation,” he said, “is experienced by all our clergy here in Queensland. For this reason, with hope and deep faith, I humbly follow you.”
In his homily, Archbishop Makarios stressed to Fr. Panagiotis that the Church invites him to become from a physician of bodies, a physician of souls. And he will do this by performing the Sacrament of the Divine Eucharist, through which he will transmit to the faithful the bread of life. “This is the priest’s work,” he pointed out, “to feed God’s people with the holy Body of the Lord and with His Precious Blood. All the rest, never forget, is secondary and insignificant.”
The Archbishop congratulated the ordained presbyter for his excellent ministry until today and for his ecclesiastical ethos, stressing that all this “fills us with optimism and certainty that with the same self-denial and dedication you will walk the really difficult and uphill path of the priesthood”. In the difficulties he will encounter, he urged him to resort to prayer, while towards the people he will serve, he begged him to behave with compassion. “Hardness of heart leads to apostasy from God. Always be gracious, as you are to this day, and the God of love will always bless your life and your priestly ministry.” In conclusion, the Archbishop stated that he is convinced that the new Presbyter will meet the expectations of the Church and himself as its Pastor.