On Sunday, October 3, 2021, the 15th Sunday after Pentecost, the parish of St. John the Baptist in Paterson, New Jersey, celebrated its Feast Day, the Conception of St. John the Baptist. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated by the Rev. Protopresbyter Djokan Majstorovic and the Rev. Deacon Vladimir Srbljak.
After the Divine Liturgy, those present were able to witness and partake of the blessing of the Slava gifts of Wheat – Koljivo, wine, and Festal Bread – Slavski kolach. Protopresbyter Djokan greeted the Hosts of the celebration, Vasilije and Dragan Dziburski, and thanked them for their gift to the church. His Excellency, Nemanja Stevanović, Ambassador of Serbia in the United Nations, addressed the guests as well. Valentina Kočović and Ivana Haler accepted to be the Hosts for the celebration next year, receiving a quarter of the Festal Bread from the hands of this year’s host.
On the following Sunday, October 10, 2021, His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the Church of St. John the Baptist in Paterson. His Grace was joined in concelebration by the Very Rev. Protopresbyter Djokan Majstorovic and the Rev. Deacon Vladimir Srbljak.
During the Divine Liturgy, the parable of the talents was read from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew. His Grace Bishop Irinej then addressed a large number of present faithful and in his God-inspired sermon referred to the deeper meaning of the passage read from the Holy Gospel.
“Talents are truly a great gift. When God created us, He gave us all talents, as we heard in today’s parable, some five, some two, and some only one.”Bishop Irinej then touched upon the question: “Is there a difference between those who received two, five, or even one?”
Bishop Irinej emphasized that there is both a difference and there is no difference. There is a difference as God created us individually, each to be his own person, precisely to be the person that God created so that a person can actualize and realize themself in order to return to God. However, we are not all the same, but in spite of that, we have a perfect unity with each other in our uniqueness. Namely, those who are given more, more is expected of them, and those who receive less, less is expected from them, however, each according to their abilities and each according to their strength but most importantly, everyone must multiply their talents.
After the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, the faithful gathered around their hierarch at the “Serbian Land – Sports & CulturalCenter”, where they enjoyed a well-prepared meal and the performance of the folk ensemble Drina of Saint John the Baptist parish in Paterson, New Jersey.
Source: Eastern American Diocese