Home » Blog



As a child, I didn’t see my father going to church but merely waiting outside – and then, only for select, special occasions. Growing up, I frequently prayed for my father to re-discover his faith. When I entered the seminary he went with us to Mass when there were parent-meetings. But it stopped there. My heart pined for my father to go to church regularly.

When I finished philosophy, he inquired what gift I wanted for graduation. I wrote a letter to him in his office, inviting him to the practice of his faith. And he did – every Sunday and Wednesday, even when there were typhoons. I was glad he slowly found his way back.

I’m sure many of us regular church-goers feel a certain pain in our heart when we think of the people we want to bring to the Lord. There are members of our family or maybe close friends who have given up the practice of the faith. How we want to see our entire family or friends together at Mass or at prayer, and yet, some of these people have grown lukewarm to their faith.

In the gospel, Jesus is inviting a Samaritan woman to deeper faith. Look at him do it. Jesus proceeds with patience. The woman belongs to a different tribe. The woman has a checkered past. Jesus leads her through a friendly conversation. He befriends the woman and slowly introduces her into a religious theme, to the message of the Kingdom. Jesus starts with water and ends with eternal life.

The woman’s eyes of faith slowly opens. Her belief in Jesus grows in stages. At first, Jesus was to her, a total stranger, then later on she acknowledges him to be a prophet. Finally, she realizes that she is before the Messiah who brings salvation. She is transformed from a listener to a proclaimer of the Messiah’s presence in the world.

Some people have very strong faith. In our country, there are regions known for religiosity. But even in the most religious areas and in the most religious families, there will always be some people who are indifferent, who are passive, who simply deviate from the rest. It causes us pain because we love them. Wives cry while praying for their husbands to return to God. Parents worry when their kids show no interest in their faith. We are troubled when our close friends do not share our conviction. This Lent, we want to bring people closer to God. Let us follow the steps Jesus shows us:

Pray. Do not stop praying for persons you want to lead to the Lord. Sometimes we need to wait, but prayer is the most powerful tool we have.

Invite. Many people do not go to church because nobody invites them. Do not miss an opportunity to gently guide people back to God.

Be patient. It is God who does the work, not you. Always be a friend to the people around you and entrust them to the Lord.