Is 49: 3, 5-6

And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” And now the Lord says, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honored in the sight of the Lord, and my God has become my strength— he says, “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved

What choice does God want us to make?

I can pinpoint very clearly the moment that changed the trajectory of my life, an experience without which I may not have happily found myself where I am at now.  It was one of those restless times, when I was wondering what to do next. I was offered an opportunity to go and live in Japan and teach English. I was excited and ready for this new challenge!  And then I got a call. It was my friend Meg. “I saw that St. Peter’s parish in town is looking for a youth and young adult ministry director,” she said, “and I immediately thought of you.” Could this be more than just a call from Meg?  Suddenly, I had two opportunities which appealed to me. Up until then, my choices were often based on what I thought God might want me to do.  But, now, for the first time, it occurred to me that maybe I should ask God what choice he wanted for me.  Was this a choice between being just the Lord’s servant or God making me a light to the nations? I’m not exactly Isaiah the prophet, but I think this experience was something like what Isaiah describes.  Certainly, my choice to apply for my first professional ministry job had a profound impact on my future. I learned that I didn’t have to go to Japan to be a light to the nations, I did this simply by letting God choose my course.

Certainly, God can make the best out of any decision we make.  But, when it comes to discerning what God is calling us to, there are choices that are too little for what God made us for.  So, we should have the courage—and humility—to ask God what choices will make us “a light to the nations.” As he did with Isaiah, God will show us.

—Fr. Mark Mossa, SJ, is a Jesuit of the Central and Southern Province and is the Director of Campus Ministry at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor, MI.


Lord, I desire to be what you made me for.
Help me to believe that I can be “a light to the nations.”
Let me see beyond my own desires, even if they are ones that might please you.
Give me the courage to ask you to guide my choices.
Provide me with the humility to make your choice, no matter how small or great.
And guide me along the path to becoming more and more each day the light that you created me to be.

—Fr. Mark Mossa, SJ