Reflections for the Holy Week by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

By Fr. Ray Diesbourg, MSC

(New York Community)

Greetings from a very quiet rectory at 139 N. Kanady (Cape Vincent, NY).  Still…the sun rises, the birds sing and the crows caw, the sun sets in a flurry of colors. And we will soon celebrate that the Son has truly risen.

It seemed to me that a letter might be a good way to keep in touch with many of you during this time of coronavirus physical distancing. I like the idea I’ve heard about it being “physical distancing” rather than “social distancing.” We do need to maintain our social interactions, whether by phone, email, skype, Facebook, letter, etc.

As I’ve been reflecting on what has been going on the last few weeks, I was reminded of Jesus in the desert for 40 days (1st Sunday Lent Gospel). We are having our own desert experience. And like Jesus, we need to keep communicating with our God.

Thank you one and all; God bless you.

Dear friend,

I understand your frustration and all the emotions you might be having right now. Like you, I am also frustrated. This morning when I looked at the parking space, it was very empty. Today, I am going to celebrate the Mass without the community that I dearly love. I could not imagine that it would happen and I would have to experience that on any given Sunday in my priestly ministry.

However we are in a different situation. The enemy is unseen. We are fighting a different war that even the most powerful country in the world is trying to figure out how to defeat. During this moment that we have to be vigilant, the devil will try to use this opportunity to break us, to divide us and to weaken our faith. Jesus’ temptation on the mountain is an example of how the devil would try all his power to deceive anyone, even the Son of God. We are all in this war together. Remember those soldiers in the field who sacrificed their lives to give us our freedom to express and practice our faith in God. This is that moment. We all have to make a sacrifice so that others may live. We are all in this together.

I am praying for you and thank you for voicing out your feelings. But let not despair defeat you. Pray to increase your faith in this trying moment. At the end of the tunnel, light will be seen and joy will wipe all our fears, frustrations and anger. We will see that God is with us, in this very moment that we need Him most.

Your friend in the Lord,

Fr. Jun.

Reflections for the Holy Week by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

By Fr. Steve Boland, MSC

(Pennsylvania Community)

Once again we enter into Holy Week. We remember the events that even now continue to give us hope for salvation, the life-giving death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This year we enter into these days while we are in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis. Just as the disciples of Jesus were filled with fear and with doubt when confronted with Jesus’ crucifixion, many people have these same feelings today. Many people mourn the loss of loved ones because of the virus, just as the disciples mourned the loss of Jesus. We pray for all of these people. The shadow of the cross continues to fall on us all. Yet we believe that the cross ultimately leads to new life. Jesus entered fully into our lives, not sparing himself from any of the misfortunes that befall us. It is in union with Him that we have hope even at this time of fear and pain. When Jesus rose from the dead, he still had the mark of his wounds visible on his glorified body. May he help us to see that our wounds, when united to His, do not lead us to darkness, but to the new light of life. As we carry the cross with Him, let us pray for courage and faith. By His wounds we are healed.

By Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC

There are times and situations in all our lives when Jesus could easily say to us as he said to Judas, “Friend, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” We might wonder, too, why we haven’t learned the lesson Jesus worked so hard to teach us, to love one another as He loves us. We look for someone else to blame. But, like it or not, we were there on the hill of Calvary, and we didn’t lift a finger to help Jesus.

Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC (Pennsylvania Community)

Father Frank professed his first vows on September 14, 1952 and was ordained on July 13, 1958. He is in residence at our Sacred Heart Villa in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.

By Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC

The Gospel for the fifth Sunday of Lent is the story about Jesus’ friend Lazarus being raised from the dead after being in his grave for four days. Jesus knew that what He was about to do would cost Him His life, but that didn’t stop Him from raising Lazarus from the dead. This miracle triggered the events of that first holy week. And true enough, from then on, the Pharisees and other critics of Jesus put their plan in motion to have Jesus executed.

Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC (Pennsylvania Community)

Father Frank professed his first vows on September 14, 1952 and was ordained on July 13, 1958. He is in residence at our Sacred Heart Villa in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.

By Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC

In making His choice for the next king of Israel, the Lord didn’t look at any of the leaders of Israel. Instead the Lord turned His gaze on a simple shepherd boy with no pretensions to greatness and no qualifications to be a king except that the Lord looked at the heart of David. Amazingly, David became the greatest of all the kings of Israel!

Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC (Pennsylvania Community)

Father Frank professed his first vows on September 14, 1952 and was ordained on July 13, 1958. He is in residence at our Sacred Heart Villa in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.

By Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC

Do we feel comfortable in His presence? As Jesus looks at us, would we be able to open ourselves fully without fear of being condemned? Nothing is more important than to open up to Jesus, because He  accepts us as we are.

Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC (Pennsylvania Community)

Father Frank professed his first vows on September 14, 1952 and was ordained on July 13, 1958. He is in residence at our Sacred Heart Villa in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.

By Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC

We may find it shocking and daring that Satan would even try to tempt Jesus. But just think about it, if Satan had succeeded, what a boon that would be for Him. Actually, it’s a good thing that Jesus was tempted. Why? Because it helps us to understand ourselves a little better. If even Jesus was tempted, then we shouldn’t be surprised when we have temptations. Temptations will always be with us because of fallen human nature.

Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC (Pennsylvania Community)

Father Frank professed his first vows on September 14, 1952 and was ordained on July 13, 1958. He is in residence at our Sacred Heart Villa in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.

By Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC

Lent is not about giving up dessert or favorite foods and drink. It is not about doing something hard for six weeks. Lent is a time for us to reflect on our lives, a time to have a better understanding of our relationship with God, and most importantly Lent is a time to grow deeper in love with the God who loves us.

Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC (Pennsylvania Community)

Father Frank professed his first vows on September 14, 1952 and was ordained on July 13, 1958. He is in residence at our Sacred Heart Villa in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.

By Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC

God definitely wants us to live together in peace and harmony. No doubt about that! But that will never happen as long as we go on hating each other? God respects us and He wants us to respect one another. But that’s not going to happen either as long as we continue to devalue others by using suggestive and demeaning words and are condescending. Perhaps we are more like the Pharisees of old than we care to admit. Too much on-the-surface-stuff, and not enough from-the-heart-stuff, where it really counts.

Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC (Pennsylvania Community)

Father Frank professed his first vows on September 14, 1952 and was ordained on July 13, 1958. He is in residence at our Sacred Heart Villa in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.