Part 22: You must say yes

In January 2005, when I was working in a Vatican office, my boss called me in to inform me that the Pope had named me Bishop of Wichita.

It was shocking news; I didn’t think I was the kind of priest that would be a candidate to be a bishop.

I asked my boss for time to pray about it, and to talk to my spiritual director. He gave me 24 hours to prepare my answer.

I was just about outside the door when my boss called out: “But you must say yes!”

My spiritual director repeated the same advice, almost word for word; I wept.

Of course, I said yes. I had said yes to the will of God when I entered the seminary, when I was ordained, and with every assignment my bishop gave me.

I wasn’t about to start saying no to the will of God, even though I wanted to refuse the call to be a bishop.

That’s the advice that I would give to everyone contemplating God’s will for their state of life, whether to be a single person or married, a religious or a priest.

You must say yes!

You must say yes, for the glory of God.

You must say yes, for the sake of the mission prepared for you by God from all eternity, to make the world different, better.

You must say yes, for the sake of your sense of fulfillment, that like Jesus you too live to give life and gladness to others.

You must say yes, for your own happiness here and in the hereafter.

You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.