Do you give Jesus permission?
I remember going to many charismatic retreats in the Philly Diocese. Father Bob was at many of the retreats as a speaker. I could give many reasons why I always liked Fr Bob and I remember most of his stories. This is just one that I remember.
Fr Bob was asked by the bishop to be the pastor of St Mary in Ottawa Canada. Fr Bob always gave a reason to the bishop why he was unworthy to be a pastor. He ran out of excuses and here he was the pastor of St Mary.
Fr Bob talked about having the tour given to him by the previous pastor. The previous pastor said, “You will have lots of free time nothing happens here, well there is a brownie group that meet twice a month but that is it.”
Fr Bob said the pastor spent most of the time talking about the boiler.
Fr Bob noticed that only a handful of people went to mass in this inner city parish. He said you could throw a snowball from one end to the other and not hit anyone.
Outside the church there were more than the fair share of the homeless, drug addicts and those who were down on their luck.
Fr Bob went to prayer and he said to Jesus, “this can’t be what you want for your church?” He heard in response, “I want your permission to do what I want to do in my church and I want you to ask every person in the church, do you give Jesus permission to do what He wants to do in this church?”
Fr Bob said yes to Jesus I give you permission and he spent the next two years asking every single person in that church, “do you give Jesus Permission to do what he wants to do in the Church?”
People were getting bored that Fr Bob always had the same homily.
One day a young man and former student of Fr Bob came to visit. He came into the Church to look around. He was a fallen away catholic. As he came into the church he started to weep, more like wail.
What happened for many months and years after that day when people came into St Mary they could not stop weeping and crying. The light of the Holy Spirit had touched their hearts.
In the falling month St Mary became a parish very much alive. You had to come one half hour early before mass to get a seat. People were worshiping God before the mass.
Do you give Jesus Permission to do what He wants to do in your life?
If the answer is yes than go out and ask 100 people the same question.