Madonna House

Me? Light of the Nations?

by Catherine Doherty

Christ is the Light of the Nations, but God says to each one of us, You are my servant in whom I shall be glorified. … It is not enough for you to be my servant. … I will make you the light of the nations (Is 49:3, 6).

That is addressed to you and me. Do we feel like the light of the nations? Do we dismiss this and say, “Me? I am a sinner. God isn’t speaking to me; he is speaking to her or to him, not me.”

Do we forget that we are saved sinners? Do we trust God? We forget that God loves us, not because we are good, but because he is good.

We don’t trust him to love us, because we have decided we are unlovable.

Also, we don’t want to get involved. To be the light of the nations—that means to carry some kind of lamp. Or to be a light, which is even harder, for that means preparing yourself to be a light. That means praying to be a light; that means surrendering totally to God, because only he can make us a light.

That means to understand that when I surrender to God, I also surrender to others—I become their servant. That is a lot to take upon myself.

The question is whether or not we are going to trust God’s word that we are the light of the nations. Are we going to do and be what we must do and be to be the light of nations?

The first thing we have to do to be the light of nations is to do the will of the Father as Christ did.

I just got a letter from a young woman who on her own went to work with a bishop in the North as a lay apostle. But that involved some kind of discipline, and she said, “I am going to quit here pretty soon, because I don’t want to do what they want me to do. I want to do what I want to do.”

Always “I want to do what I want to do.” That is the death-knell of being a light to the nations, because I am in darkness if I am not in Christ.

And we don’t need a “community” in order to perform the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. A Christian belongs to the Most Holy Trinity and therefore is a member of a tremendous and eternal community.

A little flashlight illuminates little paths. I may be that kind of little bulb, or I might be one of those huge lights that light up the whole countryside.

Any contact with another person that brings me out of myself illuminates a little path. We can help each other to disperse the darkness that is in our hearts.

From Mystical Body of Christ, (2013), pp. 57-59, a brand new book available from MH Publications