Reflection by Cathy G. Knipper
Today’s Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
What can be said about this parable that hasn’t already been said?
“Where is the mother?” said my daughter.
The mother? Jesus does not talk of a mother in this teaching moment—he is, as we all know, illustrating the Father’s love for us and His desire to be reunited with His “lost sheep”.
But let us imagine for a moment that there is an invisible mother in this story. Her heart is broken once at the thought of her wayward child going out into the world without the father’s guidance. Her heart is broken twice at the father’s heartache. His heart is no longer in his work, he is only half-present — with his energies focused on the return of his son. Now the running of the household falls to her — the running of the fields to the faithful, loyal son. They long for the days when their family was whole. But they must remain faithful in their tasks — life must go on. The fields must be planted and harvested, the flocks tended, and the household managed. They actively wait.
And one day, the father’s patience is rewarded, and the penitent son returns. Perhaps the mother is at market, or off caring for an ailing relative. But undoubtedly her heart is torn again when she returns and sees the joy of her husband and returned son, marred by the disappointment of her “faithful” child — who is now angry and resentful. How our mother hearts break when our children do not get along! From toddler spats over toys to resentments in adulthood—we want to soothe all the hurts. But sometimes we need to step back — to take ourselves out of the story — becoming invisible so that our Father can step in and bring about the peace which surpasses all understanding.
How can I step back today, Lord, and allow You to heal any anger and resentment that may be on the hearts of my family?
Lord, help me to remember today that whatever joys or sorrows are in my family, that You are in charge. Your grace will heal our wounds, mend our rifts and bring us all to the feast of Your heavenly kingdom.
Copyright 2019 Cathy G. Knipper
Cathy G. Knipper is a Catholic wife and mother to three adult children and two sons-in-law who came to her fully-grown. She is a farmer’s daughter and former journalist turned freelance book publicist. She writes for Catholic Stand and has written for various online and print publications, including Today’s Catholic Teacher and CatholicMom.com.
Receive CatholicMom.com newsletters in your inbox, including the Daily Gospel Reflection each morning!
* indicates required