Daily Gospel Reflection for February 25, 2014



Today’s Gospel: Mark 9:30-37

This Gospel has the disciples discussing who among them was the greatest. And Jesus tells them: “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Then to top it off, Jesus puts a child in their midst and says, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”

I love Gospels with children in them. I am blessed to spend my days surrounded by my children so I can immediately relate! And, while I realize that this is a tremendous gift (to be home with my children all day), it is a gift that very quickly feels overwhelming and burdensome.

As a stay-at-home mom, I thrive on routine (and I like to think my children do too!). When the hours are unstructured (I do schedule unstructured time!), I start to get antsy and less than my best self. When we are on schedule and the day is predictable, I feel happy and fulfilled. I am confident in my abilities to take care of my family. Prayers of gratitude for this amazing vocation roll off my tongue easily and frequently.

Problem is, by their nature, children are very unpredictable! Mixed in with the sweet displays of innocence and affection that melt your heart, there are equal numbers of bad moods, tantrums, illnesses, and meltdowns. It is so easy for a mother to go from feeling competent and pleased to feeling completely defeated…in a matter of seconds! And this can happen many times a day.

During the down moments, it is helpful (if only I remembered more!) to reflect on the Gospels about children. Jesus knows that children are unpredictable and less than lovely at times, but it’s not despite these things that He loves them so much…perhaps it is it part because of these things.

Small children wear their hearts on their sleeves, they do not over-think everything, they do not judge people, and they are quick to apologize and to try to be better next time. Those are some pretty nice qualities that adults would do better to emulate at times.

And, as I hug my children (or at times simply attempt to deal with their needs with love and patience), I am receiving Jesus. And I will (if I remember to ask for it) have the grace to persevere…with happiness and peace!


As a mother, what ways are you most successful at putting yourself last? When is it most challenging to “be last”?


Thank you God for the gift of my children. Please help me to always receive them as Jesus does.

Copyright 2014 Trish Bolster


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  1. When those unpredictable children wake up early and want breakfast, interrupting my prayer time or my time to catch up on chores is when I find it most difficult to put myself last.

  2. I am am empty nester and there was something about your post that catapulted me to that time when they were young and I felt all those feelings you described then, and just now. Thanks for that!

    As far as putting myself last is concerned, the hardest thing for me is giving up me time. I crave solitude and as a creative person, need solitude in order to create and to think. So it was always a struggle (and a frustrating one) to do that but the reminder of my vocation as mother helped me with that. I do find it easy to do little things like give the best portion of the meal to the other members or if we even run short on what we’re having for dinner, I will make something else. I find it easy to defer to someone else in those little things and I am grateful to God for that impulse. But watch out if I’m feeling creative and someone disturbs my free time! 🙂

  3. Trish your reflection is such a gift, especially for those who are in the “heat” of daily mothering to very small children. Like Susan, my nest is empty, but I can distinctly remember those “offer it up” moments of feeling like you didn’t have a moment to yourself, even in the bathroom! Thank you for your reminder that in our smallness, we give the best of ourselves to our Lord. Have a lovely day!

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