Tag Archives: parables

Today’s choice

Düsseldorf, Germany. Catholic church St. Lambertus, main portal with bronze door created by Ewald Mataré. Detail: Return of the prodigal son. Photo by Beckstet, 2010

Düsseldorf, Germany. Catholic church St. Lambertus, main portal with bronze door created by Ewald Mataré. Detail: Return of the prodigal son.
Photo by Beckstet, 2010

I may identify with either the prodigal son or his resentful older brother, but in this parable Jesus is calling me to be like the compassionate father.

How ready am I to forgive? To let go of resentment? To welcome the lost? To be a peacemaker? To show compassion to those who are poor, ill, or different from me in culture, ways of thinking, acting, being?

Today I will choose compassion over indifference and acceptance over judgment.

While [the younger son] was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. Luke 15:20b

Small seeds of love

Love in a pot

Love in a pot

God has planted the seed of unconditional love in each of our hearts. We watch that seed grow and spread and provide shelter as we practice forgiveness instead of resentment, patience instead of irritation, generosity instead self-seeking, awareness and compassion towards those in need instead of indifference to the cries of the poor, lonely, homeless, depressed, heartbroken, elderly, and abandoned.

 

[Jesus said to the crowds:] “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.” Mark 4:26-27

Accepting trust

Speculum Humanae Salvationis, Westfalen oder Köln, um 1360

Speculum Humanae Salvationis, Westfalen oder Köln, um 1360 Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “Hear another parable…
Finally, [the landowner] sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.'” Matthew 21:37

What kind of God keeps on sending gifts into our lives?

A God who expects us to accept the gift of love and love others. A God who expects us to accept the gift of forgiveness and forgive others. A God who expects us to accept the gift of compassion and give comfort to those who are suffering. A God who expects us to accept the gift of nonviolence and find peaceful solutions to conflict.

A God who trusts us.

Always welcome

 JESUS MAFA. The Late-arriving Workers, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48296 [retrieved September 21, 2014].

JESUS MAFA. The Late-arriving Workers, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48296 [retrieved September 21, 2014].

[Jesus told his disciples this parable:] “So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage.” Matthew 20:10

This is the only expectation that won’t disappoint me:
God will love and welcome me whenever I show up—early or late.

 

Searching

Pearl of Great Price

An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Matthew 13:45-46 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England
By Phillip Medhurst (Photo by Harry Kossuth) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

[Jesus said to his disciples,] “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” Matthew 13:45-46

That which we long to find is what prompts us to search: God’s love deep in our hearts, the pearl that has no price because it is beyond our ability to value.

The finding is in the searching and the searching is in the finding. And so we give up selfishness and self-pity, greed and resentment, fear and prejudice—and we find Love.