Father Constantine Lazarakis, born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Hellenic College and Master of Arts degree in Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Prior to attending seminary, he worked in a group home for developmentally disabled adults and adolescents, as a special education teacher’s assistant, developing and implementing learning plans for junior high school students with a variety of developmental disabilities and behavioral problems. He also worked for his father’s residential painting company. Father Lazarakis served as the Ionian Village director from 2001 until 2008, during which time he developed and implemented program curriculum which included catechetical, Greek language and culture, arts and crafts, and athletic spheres. As Ionian Village director, he also recruited, trained and managed a volunteer staff of thirty to forty members each summer. While serving at Ionian Village, Father Constantine also served as interim director of youth and young adult ministries for the Direct Archdiocesan District from 2008 to 2010, where he worked with the District youth ministry team to establish Camp St. Paul, the summer camp program of the Greek Orthodox Direct Archdiocesan District. He has also served in a variety of positions at summer camps and youth programs in the metropolises of Boston and Denver. Father Constantine was assigned as parish priest to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church of Southampton, NY in August of 2010. Father Constantine enjoys writing short fiction, poetry, and personal essays. He and his wife Anastasia Karloutsos-Lazarakis, live in Southampton with their three children, Konstantine, Xanthi and Demetrios.
In this episode of Good News for a Change, Fr. Constantine Lazarakis explores the story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand. He remembers how a Sunday School teacher from his youth taught him to always be grateful to God for every bite that goes into one’s mouth and take a moment to express gratitude to God. He reflects on how, even now, if he fails to follow her advice, to this day he will remember her teaching. Jesus miraculously feeds five thousand with only five loaves of bread and five fish. And the group was actually at least ten thousand if you count the women and children undoubtedly in the group. Jesus took what little food they had, and He blessed them. And a simple blessing, a word of gratitude to our God, is one in which we recognize that God is our Father and we are His children, receiving all good things from His hand. Physical food is a temporary satiation from our hunger, but we must then remember our hunger for eternal sustenance. There is abundance in gratitude.
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