Laura at Jingle Bells and Jelly Babies has tagged me with a Favorite Parables meme. Okay, she actually tagged me ten days ago, and it has take me this long to sit down and do it--so sorry, Laura!
Here are my favorites, in no particular order:
The Unjust Judge
The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
The Wise and Foolish Virgins
The Lost Sheep
For some of these, it may be necessary to scroll down a bit to find the parable; I've just linked to the page they're on.
Now, whom should I tag?
How about anyone who hasn't done this meme and wants to?
As a Lenten meditation, I highly recommend it; I realized in selecting these that the messages that most resonate, to me, are the ones in these five:
1. Be persistent. God will answer your prayers; but He likes to be asked!
2. Humility is a greater treasure than any amount of social and material blessings.
3. If we want our faith to grow, we need to make sure it falls on good soil. Good soil doesn't come about by accident--prayer, frequent reception of the sacraments, and pious practices will uproot the weeds, remove the paving stones, and provide a better place for our faith to flourish.
4. Never underestimate the value of being prepared. Spiritually, that is. It's easy to keep being good when we're not tested, when the Bridegroom comes as soon as He's expected. The extra oil is the spiritual strength we need to develop for the times when He seems to be late, and when our faith is tested by trial, dryness, distraction, and the like.
5. No matter what we do or have ever done, Jesus' love for us is never vanquished. He seeks us constantly, calling our names; His mercy and forgiveness are unfailing. The moment we turn to Him again, having turned away, He is ready to take us back; more, He rejoices in us, forgetting the sins we've confessed and celebrating, instead, our return. Though our sins forged the nails that held Him to the cross, though our evil ways wove a crown of thorns and torment, He still seeks us as the shepherd seeks the one lost sheep, ready to unleash the thunderous joy of Heaven if we repent and return to Him.