02-27-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Baker

In the readings today, there are many uses of the word "fruit."

Beautiful, rich fruit on a tree is used as an image for what our interior lives should produce that is observable on the outside. This is how we are to judge the quality of our discipleship: by the fruits!


02-20-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Baker

"The measure with which you measure"

I have to say that I think that the Gospel for this weekend is one of the most challenging passages of scripture to put into practice in real life. Go look at it again: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/022022.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples:


Let Nothing Disturb You

02-13-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Baker

I have shared with you before this prayer of St. Teresa of Avila which is both a favorite of mine and also a challenge to me!

"Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. All things pass away. God never changes. Patience obtains all things. They who love God lack nothing. God alone suffices."

I say that this prayer is a challenge because although I believe it, I have the hardest time actually living it. And yet it is supposed to be lived. It can be lived, even in circumstances far more difficult than I will ever face.


"Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch."

02-06-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

After Jesus tells Simon to set out into deep water and lower his nets for a catch, Simon catches more fish than he ever has. Jesus performs this miracle to awaken faith in Simon, and it works. When Simon comes before Jesus, he falls down before Him and acknowledges his sinfulness: "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man." (In Spanish: “¡Apártate de mí, Señor, porque soy un pecador!”) Then Jesus interprets the miraculous catch of fish for Simon by calling him to be an apostle and to go out to catch men, not fish. Repentance comes first, and then fruitful discipleship follows.



01-30-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Don't worry, Lent is more than a month away. Nevertheless, I want to share with you a practice from the Church's treasury about getting ready for Lent. The disciplines of Lent are about conversion, that is, turning away from sin and following Jesus more closely.

I am writing this message on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. St. Paul had a very dramatic conversion experience on the road to Damascus, but it did not end there but rather only began. St. Josemaria says: "Conversion is the matter of a moment. Sanctification is the work of a lifetime.”


Christ Has no Body Now but Yours...

01-23-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

When Jesus returned to his hometown of Nazareth and spoke in the synagogue, the people listened when he read this passage from Isaiah:

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to
bring glad tidings to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord."

But they were offended when he said:
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”


New Year's Resolution

01-16-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I know that it is a little late for New Year’s Resolutions technically speaking, but we are beginning the time of the year called Ordinary Time and so I think that it would be a good idea to reflect on what our lives of faith should look like ordinarily.


Christmas is Here!

01-02-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

In looking at our church, it reminds me that Christmas is not a feeling or spirit but rather a fact of history. God became man at a particular time and in a particular place. Joseph and Mary were far from home at the time Jesus was born because of a government regulation. They were without a place to stay and took shelter in a cave with animals. Shepherds came to see them immediately, and mysterious magi from the East came later. Herod was disturbed to hear that a king had been born. He ordered the slaughter of babies in order to eliminate this king. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus fled to Egypt. This is the truth of Christmas.


Introducing Dr. Brian Russell, new Director of Sacred Music

12-26-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

After a long and complicated search, I am happy to introduce Dr. Brian Russell as our new Director of Sacred Music for Saint Rose Parish. I believe that he is just what we need to enhance the musical life of the parish.

The search was complicated because our parish is complicated! We are large and diverse. We are also coming out of a time when vocal music, in particular, was affected by the pandemic. It does not seem possible or even desirable for one person to fill all the musical needs of the parish, but one person does need to oversee the music ministry. This will be our new director's mission. That being said, we will be takingREAD MORE

Peace and Vulnerability

12-19-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Peace comes at a price: the price of vulnerability. Jesus shows us this. He came to restore peace, which had been ruptured by sin. He came to us and made himself vulnerable to us. He paid the price for the risk of vulnerability, but He accomplished the mission of restoring peace between God and humanity. He did not have to do this. He could have remained safely in glory at the right hand of the Father; but that would have left us as we were, lost in our sins and subject to eternal death.

We often find ourselves longing for peace in our relationships with one another, but we are unwilling to take the risk of vulnerability. Unless one person is willing to "be Christ" in the situation, there can be no peace. There might be a "truce" but not true peace. This sort of vulnerability can be seen in the virtue of meekness and in two of the spiritual works of mercy.


St. Martin de Porres, Pray for Us!

12-12-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

At the beginning of November, we celebrated the memorial of St. Martin de Porres. As a reminder about St. Martin, he was a contemporary of St. Rose. He lived in Lima and, like St. Rose, was also a member of the Dominican Order. He was a remarkable wonder-worker, a man of great charity, and one who suffered from racial discrimination. When I first came to St. Rose of Lima Parish, I read a biography of St. Martin and was struck by his holiness! We have commissioned a statue of St. Martin for the parish to make visible his influence and connection with St. Rose.


Year of St. Joseph

12-05-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Wednesday, December 8, the Year of St. Joseph will come to a close. This has been a special year for the Church, for our parish, and for me. There are many reasons to be devoted to St. Joseph. He is the patron of the Church, the protector of the Holy Family, and the model of a holy death. During the pandemic, which included this year in his honor, I have gone to St. Joseph especially for the "temporal and spiritual welfare of Saint Rose of Lima Parish and families." I don't know how many times I have prayed this petition to St. Joseph since March of 2020.