As Christians, we are always in the process of “becoming.” The person I am today is not the same person I was 10 years ago, nor am I, who I believe I will be 10 years from now.
One of the most significant spiritual events in my life was the birth of my firstborn son, Harrison. My wife, Christie, was induced, so his birth was planned and not a fire drill. As this new life came into the world I burst into tears as they put him in his mother’s arms. Here was new life, life that didn’t exist moments earlier, a miracle. However, it was not the miracle of birth that was the significant spiritual event, it was the thought that immediately followed: “God’s love for us is truly immense!” This little being that, having never spoken or acted in any way towards me, had just inherited my love. Having done nothing for me, I was prepared to die for him! I was in love! I understood, on a microlevel, what God’s love for us is.
The understanding of this type of love has shaped my experiences. It has transformed my worldview and calling to the Priest-hood. Love, without sounding cliché, is truly the purpose of life. Christ simplified the Law for us, by providing a new standard. In Luke 10: 27, he says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.”
The new standard given to us by Christ is the source of measurement I attempt to implement in my life. What is man’s greatest need? Love. Based on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, after food, shelter, and security, love is what man craves most. Ministry should fulfill the need of love. The programs at the St. Demetrios are founded on Christ’s love for us and our love for our neighbor. Bible study groups, Youth Ministry meetings, service at the local Rescue Mission, and Parish Council, etc. are all founded on the principle of love. As I serve the faithful, I am reminded of God’s love for me through the relation-ships built with the flock. Our Lord has entrusted me to serve you with love.
Although I continually find myself in error and mistake, I always endeavor to imitate God’s love. It was that simple, yet profound moment, when my firstborn child came into the world that best illustrates this lesson. It was an experience unlike any other that changed my perspective on many matters in my life and ministry.
In Christ’s Service,
Fr. Gary Kyriacou
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