Everyone knows that when we hand out advice to others, we can expect that they may not want to hear it, and they often don’t take it. But it is in our human nature to want to help other people avoid the pitfalls that we may have experienced.
Jesus knew this. When he wanted to get His point across, He used parables as explanation instead of pointing out the impending or unsuspected difficulty, danger, or error one may fall into. There are more than 40 parables in the bible.
They each have pertinent meaning for us today as much as they did back then. Depending on what stage of life you are in, the same parable can have different meanings for you at different times during your life. For example, in the parable of the prodigal son, you might relate to the self-centered younger son who wishes to be on his own thinking he’s ready for what the world has to offer and not aware that there may be trouble ahead. At another stage in life, you may feel like the self-righteous, older son dutifully staying at home being obedient and stable. At another stage in life, you might feel like the parent of either of these sons trying to understand what your child is going through but continuing to love them and forgive their failings.
Hearing the parables of the Gospels offers us advice from Jesus and gentle reminders of how we are called to conduct ourselves. The best part of all this is that Jesus didn’t just speak to us in parables. He gives us a direct line of communication to be with Him in the Mass. Jesus is our Savior and friend who wants only to help us. Christ reaches out to you and me with his “Word”, with his presence in the Eucharist, and in quiet communication with him through prayer, so that as Matthew Kelly says, “we can become the best version of ourselves” living with passion and purpose.