On the 8th Sunday after Pentecost, and on the feast day of the Holy Prophet Elijah, Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Eastern American Diocese presided over the Divine Liturgy in the Church of St. Eleftherios for the Serbian Orthodox Community in New York City.
He was assisted by the Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Zivojin Jakovljevic, Dean of Saint Sava Cathedral in New York, and Protodeacons Milos Zdralic and Jovan Anicic.
During his sermon, Bishop Irinej spoke about the gospel event of the multiplication of loaves. Previously, Bishop Irinej pointed out the admonition of the great and holy Apostle Paul from the Epistle to the Corinthians, in which he spoke about harmful divisions in the Church of God. As noted, Holy Baptism is not performed in Paul’s name and the people of God do not belong to Paul but to God, Bishop Irinej pointed out. Therefore, the community must not be divided spiritually, but for the common good, which is the Holy Church of Christ, only to share food, other goods and talents. For that reason, Bishop Irinej notes, Christ prayed and did not release the people, but kept them together and distributed food feeding them abundantly. Bread is, therefore, the symbol of the body of Christ with which when we partake of Him sanctify ourselves, concludes Bishop Irinej.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Irinej served a small Memorial Service to the newly departed servant of God, Academician Professor Dr Dimitrije Stefanovic, who devoted his entire scientific life to the study of Orthodox church music – Byzantine and Old Slavic.
Source: Serbian Orthodox Church