Human and Divine Truths

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed ... the smallest of seeds ... it becomes a large bush, and the 'birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.'" The senses God gave us help us know our world, and, with Jesus, the kingdom of heaven. It is impossible for us to exhaust the meaning of a parable, simple and plain as its clear images may be. In parables Jesus speaks of human & divine truths and this gives enlightenment and understanding to us because we are both human and divine, as we are made in the image and likeness of God. 

This being the case, we already possess more than physical senses for we are endowed with spiritual senses as well. Therefore, it is essential and virtuous that we reflect upon the meaning of Jesus' parables as they apply to our lives. Moreover, our Christian imagination needs the fuel of God's graces so that we may meditate upon and pray with the invitation to new mission with which God entrusts us in the contemplation of God through His Word. Authentic prayer is an art form.

In Jesus, Who speaks to us in images we understand, 

-f. Chris, O.P. 

God's Rich Soil

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

"But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold." These words of Jesus give life and hope to us since we are the very ones who are chosen to be the "rich soil" wherein God's graces, or seeds, can germinate and produce a great harvest. 
In God's grace and wisdom a new Pastor for our beloved Parish of Holy Rosary has been chosen. His name is Fr. Jorge Rativa, O.P., and he is completing his ministry as Socius and Vicar Provincial of our St. Martin de Porres Province. He is a very joyful, pastoral, and compassionate Dominican priest who is eager to begin on September 1st. He is now as a seed of which Jesus speaks and we are the fertile soil in which he can thrive and grow. Let us pray for and support him always as he has answered this call to be planted as shepherd in our rich soil.

In Jesus our Good Shepherd,

-fr. Chris, O.P.

Words to Our Neighbor

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

"Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest." These encouraging and comforting words Jesus offers are also a mission call for us to say Jesus' words to our neighbor who is exhausted, depressed, stressed out, or otherwise in need of solace, healing, compassion, and mercy. As disciples we are in Christ and of Christ in our world to unburden others and not bind them up with judgment, biases, neglect, or shame. Am I committed to the alleviation of suffering in another even in the midst of my own suffering and deficiencies?

In Christ, who helps carry our burdens through each other,

-fr. Chris, O.P. 

One God in Three Persons

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Jesus assures us, His 21st century disciples, that if we want life forever with Jesus, then we must choose to lose our lives in Him. Even those loves of our lives that cause us to experience profound joy, love, and harmony of spirit, while these are good, holy, and God-given, are not to be preferred over Jesus Himself. Consider for a moment our varied relationships which develop in our Parish of Holy Rosary: these relationships are based on our love for our One God in Three Persons, which includes the One Who feeds us with His very Word & Body and Blood, namely, Jesus. And, Jesus does not say or imply that we lose our families and friendships; rather, He encourages us to find our truest identity in Him. 

During this past week I have been in Rome, Italy, at our international priory named for Saint Sabina, an early Christian. The Basilica of Santa Sabina was founded between the years 422 and 432. St. Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans, lived the final years of his life here and his life belonged to Christ, Son of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth. Notice this image of a beautiful and very old wood carving of Mary and her Son, both appearing large and regal in comparison to St. Dominic and many other Blesseds and Saints surrounding her. This carving is on the back wall of St. Dominic's cell, or room, which is quite small One can notice the dark wood above the carving which is the original wood ceiling of his room.

It has been in this very room that I have prayed for you during this 10-day visit in Rome at Santa Sabina, as well as at daily Mass in the Basilica. I am reminded of how deeply connected I feel toward you in the love of Jesus Christ. The harvest of losing ourselves in Jesus is that we are united with each other in gathering around Jesus and His Mother and being united in such a way that we move together in living the Gospel. There's also a call to humility in this scene, since no one need jockey for position in competition with another sister or brother who "loses" himself or herself in Christ Jesus. Being lost in Satan begets Death; being lost in Christ begets Life.

Nella verita delle parole di Gesit, (In the truth of Jesus' words)

-fr. Chris, 0.P.

Stewards of the Mission

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

The imaginary character of Jesus' parable is a sly, yet dishonest steward who lacks any semblance of responsibility, gratefulness, or prudence; in a word, he looks out for himself, only. 

The real characters of Holy Rosary parish are, at our best, stewards of the mission to act responsibly, gratefully, and with loving mercy and kindness on behalf of one another in the joys, difficulties, and outright painful challenges and sufferings we encounter. 

We have recently celebrated Baptisms, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, Marriages, Holy Orders, Funeral Liturgies, and Confessions and Holy Eucharists - weekends and weekdays. We have celebrated 25th Wedding & Priesthood anniversaries, several galas, Solemnities, gardening ministries (Hortus Novus), religious education and scripture studies, singing and cooking, nourishment of those encountering unemployment, psychological & drug troubles due to living on the street, and a host of other graced activities, including an increasing amount of baby showers. 

As a growing and thriving parish we must create time to reflect upon our experiences, common & private, so as to notice and to neglect not the extravagant graces poured out upon us. Without consistent prayer & reflection amidst the graced events of our lives in Christ, we are prone to live selfish lives, which ensures that greedy sin will enslave our hearts. May we strive to become ever more free from manipulation of God and others.

Tn Christ, our Holy Teacher,

-fr. Chris, O.P.

Following the Ways of Jesus

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

A heartfelt Congratulations to our First Holy Communicants in this month of May! We are graced by you, our younger faithful members of Holy Rosary, who will be receiving the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and with His Holy Word of encouragement, life, compassion, and infinite mercy. These First Holy Communion liturgies help us remember that all of us in the Catholic Faith are sustained and sent out as missionaries bringing Jesus lovingly to other people. Our path into an ever-deeper and more generous faith is done exclusively in following the ways of Jesus.

Dear First Holy Communicants, help us all to be so thankful for Jesus' life that we will take your example of reverence, innocence, and joy in receiving Jesus' Body and Blood so that we are not afraid to share mth other people the healing, teaching, generous giving and forgiving as one very large world-wide family of Christ, beginning right here at Holy Rosary.

In Jesus the Good Shepherd, our our daily Bread all during our life,

-fr. Chris, O.P.

Friend of the Humble

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Two of Jesus' disciples were distraught & preoccupied by the passion and death of Jesus the Nazarene, whom they considered a prophet. They were also mystified by the report of the women disciples who had astonishing news about Jesus' body being gone from the tomb and visions of angels as well. The two followers walking down the country road to the town of Emmaus proved to be good listeners as they took in all the words and teaching of Jesus Resurrected, yet themselves not realizing it was Jesus. Moreover, they were so very open and warm in their generous reception of and hospitality to this scripturally adept traveler who was a stranger to them. As they sat together for a meal something very astounding and breathtaking occurred in the simple gesture of the "stranger" breaking bread.

One never knows the rich harvest that can occur through virtuous ways, such as offering hospitality of some kind to a stranger. It is often in the widow, the orphan, and the stranger where Jesus shows up in our lives.

Do I have a chair for Jesus at the table?

In Christ's Resurrected Light,

-fr. Chris, O.P

Jesus Meets Us Where We Are

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Is Thomas' attitude and demand so different from our own at times? Our attitudes and demands can be harsh and unbending; we want what we want and delivered when & how we want it! John, the Beloved Disciple, came to faith in a different manner than Thomas and so too did Mary Magdalene. Jesus meets us where we are. He accepts us with the attitudes and demands we may possess, however unreasonable they may appear. Our conversion depends upon our willingness not to take ourselves so seriously that we cannot relinquish to God's grace our foibles, our selfish "my-way-or-the-highway" attitudes, and our reluctance to listen and to change. It is precisely when I cannot cooperate with God's grace in humility that I waste the precious, life-giving, merciful energy with which I have been endowed to heal and to love others and to glorify God. The infinite compassion of our Father in heaven is ours for the taking.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who in His great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
— 1 Peter 1:3

ln the Light Who ls Christ,

-fr. Chris, O.P

Jesus Is Risen!

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

HE IS RISEN!

ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!

From darkness into light is the repeated theme of the gospel of John. In the dark of morning, Mary Magdalene "saw the stone removed from the tomb" then ran immediately to tell the disciples. As Peter and the beloved disciple arrived at the site of Jesus' burial place, after having been told the message from Mary Magdalene, they began to notice, ever so incrementally, the truth of the empty tomb: Jesus ls Risen!

The seemingly permanent darkness of lies, sin, and death has been abolished and the brilliant, dazzling light of eternal truth, life, and virtue is given to all in The Resurrection. Resurrection light is the life-giving and life-creating light of a star, of the clear and reinvigorating morning sun, and of the light penetrating in glorious soft array through the tall pines and sequoias of the forest even to the forest floor.

Together, let us bask and dance with a holy resplendent joy at the arrival of this Easter Day and Season where we can be renewed, refreshed, and ready to become ever more luminously the Light of Christ in our world.

In the Light Who Is Christ,

-fr. Chris, O.P.

The One Who Brings the Glad Tidings of Truth

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Our holiest of weeks has arrived and begins with the joyous entrance of Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem, His city of destiny where Jesus knows He will enter into His passion. People are waving palm branches welcoming the One Who brings the glad tidings of truth, mercy, and salvation for all peoples.

As the Sacred Triduum begins with the Thursday evening Eucharistic meal, recalling The Last Supper, an integral part of this liturgy is the symbolic washing of the feet. Concerning this, St. Ambrose wrote: "Finally, be aware that the mystery is also sanctification: 'Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.'" Another Church Father, Origen, wrote: "Now the feet of those proclaiming good news became beautiful, so that, when they were washed and cleansed and dried by Jesus' hands, they might be able to walk on the holy way and travel over Him Who said, 'I am the way."'

Here in our beloved Holy Rosary, united in following the way of Christ, let us allow Jesus to wash our feet that we may do so for others.

A most graced, joyous and meaningful Holy Week be yours,

-fr. Chris, O.P

Live as Children of Light

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

If we look to the heart of others, the good in others, then we are acting in sync with how God looks at us. The prophet Samuel was led by God to anoint young David, the Spirit-filled King of Israel. By our baptism into Jesus Christ we too are anointed with Sacred Chrism to "Live as children of light" as St. Paul writes in Ephesians. In John's narrative of the Man Born Blind notice the manner in which he was treated after Jesus gave him sight with even his parents answering the Pharisees with fear and not coming to their son's aid. It was only Jesus who encouraged the man with new sight. There is something here of note. The man was born blind and therefore, never had seen through his eyes, ever. What we learn here is something about Jesus· identity as God because He spit on the ground and making clay, smeared the clay on the blind man's eyes. This is what God did in creating human beings. The day when Jesus used His own saliva with dirt to make clay, Jesus created sight in the man. One cannot heal what is not there; therefore, sight was created for the first time in the man's eyes. Jesus is always much more than our limited definitions of Him.

As we have entered the mid-point of this penitential season, it is good to review our understanding of Who Jesus Is in our lives. Another worthy review of ourselves is the answer to the following question: When I notice God's wondrous creative work in another am I able to rejoice and encourage the person or do I consider the other as a threat to my ego? We are each of us gifted and, therefore, there is no reason in living in the light of Christ to compete against one another in accomplishing God's will. Gossip, slander, lies, and false witness are incompatible with Catholic Christian life. Encouragement, loving admonishment, speaking the truth, and delighting in others' successes is a firm foundation in living the Truth of our Triune God.

In God's loving kindness,

-fr. Chris, O.P.

Springtime in the Church

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Lent is Springtime in the Church and the Season of Spring also tends to coincide with some of the weeks of Lent. Spring is a time of liquidation and cleansing of that which is either no longer necessary in our lives or shouldn't have been necessary in our lives to begin with.

When the Samaritan woman went to draw water from the well that day her life changed because of her encounter with Jesus. This was the truth not because she came to the realization that He was a prophet or because He might be "The Christ"; rather, her faith came to life and blossomed because Jesus invited her to adjust her life of instability in the moral realm and to live in union with her deepest longings to be a friend of God in Jesus Christ.

Because of her testimony to the people of her town, even considering her fledgling faith in Jesus, the woman did make a difference. Thus, with faith the size of a new blade of Spring grass or a baby finch, she becomes a missionary pulling others into the Truth, namely, Jesus. Jesus would remain with or "abide v'.rith" that community of Samaritans demonstrating that God wishes that we abide with Him always. Most assuredly, the woman would thereafter make progress in her burgeoning faith to abide in the Truth by living a moral and just life.

As we encounter The Christ Who wills to abide in us in the midst of this sacred season of Lent, let us be unafraid as we liquidate unhealthy sinful ways and choose rather to better notice the goodness in our neighbors sprouting up all around.

In God's loving kindness,

-fr. Chris, O.P

Communication in Our Community Life

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Communicating well here at Holy Rosary is integral to our community life and Christian discipleship. Bettering communication among us is always good since we now have a recently updated parish website and other technological advances. Many have worked tirelessly to help update our website. This bulletin in your hand is one of the tools we use and there are several staff members involved in its weekly creation.

We have several entities which function in and around our Parish and which are also integral to the life of Holy Rosary. For example, the Gala Committee and all of its volunteers help in creating an annual event which honors those who are striving to live the Gospel as St. Martin de Porres, a Dominican Friar, who cared for the most poor, including slaves, in and around Lima, Peru. Plus, the corporal & spiritual works of mercy are thriving here at Holy Rosary, in our Archdiocese, and in Houston overall. Another entity is of course, our Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston which guides and supports us under the leadership of our chief ecclesial shepherd, His Emminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo.

This leads me to say that, after consultation, I am asking for two very tech-savvy volunteers to come forward and be willing to help our Holy Rosary website become outstanding. Such volunteers could work from their home or from our offices and it shouldn't take more than a few hours a week. If you think you'd like to serve in this capacity here at Holy Rosary in assisting our website technical manager, please contact Mrs. Valerie Chase, Special Projects Coordinator, or Mr.Juan Maldonado, Business Manager. We could use a team on this since one of the exciting things we'd like to do is expand our website communication to include spiritual guidance, teaching, and preaching. Included in this, we would also like to ensure the posting of up-to-date financial information, including the regular fundraising that normally takes place in a parish. Also, links would be provided for the fundraising for our annual Gala events and for the fundraising for Holy Rosary's part in assisting our Archdiocese in varied ways, especially with the IGNITE Campaign which is presently raising fw1ds for Catholic Education, including the refurbishment of St. Mary's Seminary.

One final communication note: Our last parish directory was published on the occasion of our 2013 Centennial. I would like us to create another parish directory in both hard-bound and electronic forms. The new album, depending on each family's or individual's preference, would feature both photo and contact information. We are now gearing up for getting the ball rolling on the scheduling of photo shoots and the other details of putting this album together.

In God's loving kindness,

-fr. Chris, 0.P.

Species of Temptations

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

We are tempted to be self-sufficient; to be free from God's will and to be our own god. Jesus was tempted to be self-sufficient and to be free from God the Father. Jesus refused to exert power over stones, or to throw Himself down and be lifted up by angels, or to have the belongings of all earthly kingdoms. And he told Satan, "Get away!"

Jesus loved us, loves us, and will always love us. It is His way that we follow. There are all species of temptations and it is true that we are to be steadfast in our faith and therefore, vigilant against grasping for power in any form.

Lent is a holy, blessed, penitential and joyous pilgrimage deep into the life of Jesus by peering deep into our own intentions and motivations for what we say and do. Sometimes, we are tempted to see ourselves as more just or good or merciful than others and this is a surefire entrance into sin. Such sinfulness wastes our God-given energies; therefore, we, as the prophet Joel writes: "Rend your hearts, not your garments." There is no room for bragging about our accomplishments and in doing so posturing for affirmation. Such posturing is nothing less than gross spineless immaturity. Our mission is not to be needy for applause for such arrogant and self-serving desire is not Olristian. Moreover, if we attempt in thousands of varied and subtle ways to garner praise for ourselves then where will be our energy for the good of others and the good of our relationship with God?

Let us say "No!" to Satan's lies as we say "Yes!" to Jesus' truth.

In God's loving kindness.

-fr. Chris, 0.P

Christ's Presence is Real

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Our participation in the Holy Eucharist gives us life. Forgiven, renewed, and united in Christ, we depart each Mass as missionaries driven to communicate the Good News we have experienced. It is also true that we are chosen to worship Christ in the Eucharist outside of Mass. "During the thirteenth century, St Thomas Aquinas wrote extensively about the Eucharist as a sacrament
and symbol. Christ's presence is real, substantial, and sacramental. "- Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, 2015.

Here at our 104-year old Parish of Holy Rosary, celebrating the prayer of the Eucharist in the way of Exposition, Adoration and Benediction has been a holy and meaningful prayer offering consolation, union with God, and seeing the face of God in the Sacred Body of Christ in the Host shown in the Monstrance. In continuance of our wondrous tradition, what is of some concern is that during this past year there have been countless times during Adoration, which occurs every Friday between 12:45 and 4:15pm, in which no one is in the church adoring the exposed Blessed Sacrament.

Thankfully, some staff members have taken the opportunity to kneel and pray before the Blessed Sacrament when no one else has been there. As a community we can do better than this and not leave The Blessed Sacrament unattended. Our good shepherd, His Emminence Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, has pointed out to all the priests of our Archdiocese his own experience of having visited Churches which have Perpetual Adoration when no one is there in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. His Emminence exhorted the priests to encourage the faithful never to allow the abandonment of Christ present publicly in the Monstrance. Given our love for the Sacraments of our Catholic Church and the spiritual nourishment we receive in Holy Adoration of the Eucharist, we must consistently make time to be in prayerful presence with He Who offered everything for us. Let us renew our commitment to love our God with all our heart, mind, strength, and soul united with others in loving regard for The Bread of Life.

May this upcoming Season of Lenten prayer, fasting,
and almsgiving bring us closer to God and neighbor. Amen

In God's loving kindness,

-fr. Chris, O.P.

Through the Midst of Thorns and Thistles

Dear Parishioners and Visitors, 

When we are offended or treated unjustly our initial response can tend toward a violent response. However, this was not Jesus' way and it cannot be our way in relationships, including with those who may consider us their enemies. His way is one of disarming the violence of the other by the unexpected action instead of the expected "eye-for-an-eye" immediate violent reaction. 

In his preaching, St. Dominic found himself going from one town to another in Southern France and became lost. Coming across a man on the dirt road, Dominic asked the man for directions. The man then took Dominic along a different path through the midst of thorns and thistles. Dominic's ankles and lower legs were getting scratched and bloodied and Dominic began to realize that this man was doing this on purpose, yet he kept going along as if he didn't know. The man finally stopped in his tracks and, bending down, begged Dominic to forgive him because he was intentionally leading Dominic across this thorny path since he was a Cathar heretic. Dominic forgave the man and because Dominic had so persevered the man converted to Catholicism and followed Dominic. 

Going the extra mile with another who considers himself or herself our enemy offers the increased possibility for a disarming of whatever motivates one to do harm. Revenge is not a part of our truest Catholic faith. Patient endurance, mercy and love of enemies is disarming and, while not easy, it is virtuous. 

Dominic endured the pain of being lascerated by thorns and thistles for the sake of another who wished him harm. Dominic followed in the way of Jesus and this as well is our call today. Moreover, by such endurance we ourselves are further converted from being armed with anger into being transformed into love.

In God's loving kindness,

-fr. Chris, O.P.

 

Deep into the Spirit of the Law

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

When an air traffic controller receives a call from a pilot coming in for landing there are only three things the controller wants to know: "Who are you?", "Where are you?", and "What do you want?" The controller is not interested in the pilot's preferences in pets, dentle chart history, or what college the pilot's daughter is attending. So that the pilot may arrive with his or her passengers safely, the pilot must answer only what is vital. 

In teaching His disciples, Jesus takes them deep into the spirit of the Law. Jesus fulfills the law and, in so doing, exhorts them to be clear in communicating their faith, hope, and charity. More than "Yes"! or "No"!, thwarts the truth-no wishy-washy, weak-kneed "alternative psuedo­doctrinal facts." Jesus Is The Truth. Be committed to what you believe, what you hope for, and give your love generously, all in Jesus Christ. 

In our life in Christ our identity is in Him, our path is with Him, and our desire is to make Him known through our extravagance in giving ourselves away to others so that they know how profoundly they are loved.

In God's loving kindness,

-fr. Chris, 0.P.

Salting the Souls Around Us

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

There is an unquestionable urgency in Jesus' words about being "salt" and "light". Our talents are to be used without unnecessary delay; therefore, as Christians we dare not procrastinate about salting the souls around us with our just ways and corporal & spiritual works of mercy. Moreover, our light is to be given away with an energetic love because both salt and light give nourishment and life. Isaiah's words: "Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall be quickly healed." Both light and salt heal. This emphasis from Jesus on our being salt & light clearly demonstrates that healing is best achieved by the generosity we ourselves offer with true and unselfish charity, all by God's graces. No charity in our hearts for others, no healing! Meaning in life comes from the marvelous and countless ways in which we take the risk to give away our salt & light with a vigorous love, as Jesus Himself did.

In God's loving kindness,

-fr. Chris, O.P.

Living the Beatitudes

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

The poverty of living on the street, next to smelly garbage dumps or under viaducts and roaming from place to place to beg and scrape for a meal or a blanket or a bus ticket to anywhere else is not a good. Those who are "poor in spirit" know that all mercy and love originates in God. One who is therefore poor in spirit understands that he or she needs God. Jesus' beatitudes are grounded in blessing and mercy and that those who offer it even in suffering and persecution, even to those who harm us, will experience mercy and its accompanying consolation from God. The encouragement from Jesus to "Rejoice and be glad" when we are insulted and persecuted by others for the sake of love for Christ by living a life in obedience to Him is a mission which requires humble perseverance. The harvest of accomplishing God's Will by living the beatitudes is seeing and abiding with God forever. Alleviating the suffering of those who smell bad will be as a sweet fragrance before God and others, much more fragrant than any perfume or cologne.

In God's loving kindness,

-fr. Chris, O.P.