Daily Gospel Reflection for November 8, 2018


Today’s Gospel: Luke 15:1-10

I used to be a helicopter mom when it came to my kids’ homework. I monitored what was due when, and tried to teach them organizational skills, time management, and good study habits. I played it that way for years. Consequently, both my boys had straight As.

But there comes a time when our kids have to fly. Last September, I pushed them both out of the nest. Zack was in eighth grade; Mason was in sixth. I felt they were ready to apply all I had taught them, and strike out on their own. To inspire them, I dangled the idea of a big reward at report card time if they stayed straight A students.

Right out of the gate, Mason caught his stride and consistently applied himself. Not the case with his older brother. Zack took a casual approach; and his grades reflected it. Suddenly, C’s, D’s, and F’s became common marks.

As the trimester progressed, Mason continued to quietly do the right thing in the background, like a good sheep. Unfortunately, I barely noticed. I was too busy trying every motivational technique I could think of to untangle his lost sheep brother from the briers.

When marks closed, each of their report cards reflected their effort: Mason earned his reward; Zack did not.

Oh how I struggled with toeing the line. As unfair as it sounds, Mason’s reward was delayed and downplayed so as not to rub things in Zack’s face. It was a very difficult and uncomfortable situation all around.

I am hopeful that the day will come when Zack’s grades WILL improve. On that day, there will be no delaying or downplaying his reward. Instead, there will be a big old celebration when my lost student finds his way back.


Do I have one child who struggles, and one who does not? Do I celebrate more when the struggling child succeeds?


Dear God, please bless my struggling child with whatever is needed to bring him/her back. Also, please remind me to to recognize and affirm my other child who consistently does the right thing.

Copyright 2018 Claire McGarry

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About Author

Claire McGarry is the author of the Lenten devotional "With Our Savior," published by Creative Communications for the Family/Bayard, Inc. and All is Blessing: Finding God in the Tensions of Life, to be published by Our Sunday Visitor in the fall of 2021. Her freelance work has appeared in various Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family magazine, Catechist magazine, These Days devotional, and Keys for Kids devotional. The founder of MOSAIC of Faith, a ministry with several different programs for mothers and children, she blogs at Shifting My Perspective.

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