The WORD in Other Words by Fr Bar Fabella SVD (Philippines) for Wednesday in the 4th Week of Easter
She approached me after the Mass. A former student of a famous Catholic school for poor but deserving students, she was formed into a devoted Catholic and has carried this formation through her life as a teacher. Teary eyed, she confided to me that she only had one wish: that her older sister be “converted” from being a lukewarm Catholic, who never goes to Church, to being, at least, a Sunday Churchgoer. I told her just to be patient and to have hope.
I’m sure we have our own experiences of people whom we want to be converted to the Church, not because they belong to another Christian belief, but more because they are indifferent to it (the Church), or worse, considered as sinners. In the Scriptures, we have many stories of conversion, foremost of whom is that of St. Paul who persecuted the Church.
But just like St. Paul who was converted from being number one public enemy to become the number one missionary to the gentiles, we also know a lot of people who miraculously made complete turn-around from being sinners to becoming devoted Christians.
What do these conversion stories tell us? Patience and prayer. We should never give up on people. There is always hope no matter how sinful someone may be. As Jesus said: “… for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world (John 12:47). He is not interested in the sins but rather in how to draw people back to him – to bring them back to light, thus making themselves lights to others.
– Fr. Bar Fabella, SVD (St. Joseph Parish, Bongabong, Or. Mindoro)