By Fr. Ray Diesbourg, MSC

(New York Community)

Remember how it wasn’t all that long ago that local folks travelled freely, going to such places as Syracuse, Rochester, Kingston and even Lake Placid? The pandemic has seriously reduced such travel. Now everyone stays close to home and six feet apart!

But there’s another journey that we are all on; and it doesn’t require any miles of travel. We hear about it in our Gospel reading for this past Sunday (5th of Easter). Jesus says, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.” So we are on a journey to the dwelling place in the Father’s house. That’s our true home, our ultimate goal, our final resting place. This journey is why we were created; its destination is where we are meant to be.

Now we have a choice about how we make this journey. It’s either a field of land mines or an adventure. If it’s a mine field, we walk gingerly, fearful of stepping on mines that could explode. There’s a lot of doom and gloom around us. We tend to be negative and pessimistic and we are often sad.

If it’s an adventure, we forge ahead, unafraid, even though we still need to be cautious. Our travel guide is Jesus, who begins his remarks about the Father’s house with the words, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” We walk with confidence because we know that Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.”

Of course, the journey to the Father’s house will vary for each of us. Sometimes we may take a by-pass or wander toward an off-road distraction. So it’s important that we travel together, like a pilgrimage. That means we need community; we need the church; we need the Eucharist because that’s what gives us the energy we need to continue the journey.

So let us pray for the heroes who are companions on our journey. Let us pray that more people will be inspired to follow Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life. And let us pray that we will soon be able to come together again to support one another in person as we journey to the dwelling place in the Father’s house.

Blessings, Fr. Ray

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

By Fr. Ray Diesbourg, MSC

(New York Community)

It’s very quiet here on a cloudy Sunday afternoon. Meteorologically the days seem longer and the nights shorter. But for many it’s also true psychologically—the days are long and the nights short. We would appear to be “wholly weak” were it not for Holy Week.

As Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, he was hailed, loved and welcomed. Just a few days later he was scorned, hated and rejected. His experience can be a strength for us in dealing with the difficulties of life. If we join our crosses to his, we can expect resurrection as well. All this week, Holy Week, we celebrate the events that lead to our salvation.

As we deal with the magnitude of the coronavirus devastation, especially in larger cities, it’s important to remember the even greater magnitude of Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection. By conquering even death, Jesus made it possible for us to live forever. Now death can be viewed as merely a rite of passage, going from the limitations of earthly life to the fullness of eternal life.

May the Lord continue to watch over all of us.


Fr. Ray, MSC

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.

By Fr. Rey Diesbourg, MSC      People who are generous, down to earth, always willing to help, and faithful to their commitments, are often called the salt of the earth. We all know such people who have had a positive influence on us and who have made a real difference in their local communities….

© 2020 Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
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