Jesus was fond of using parables to teach principles, to help others to understand and apply the Law of Love, and to illustrate what they need to grasp as believers. But this teaching and ministerial device is just as useful today as it was 2,000 years ago.
Following is a contemporary parable, submitted by a member of Youth Apostles. It is suitable for use or adaptation in ministry.
Chris felt awful. He had told his friend Paul a lie about something he did, and it had given him a nagging bad feeling in the pit of his stomach for months. John’s conscience, and the priest he went to for Confession, told him that he needed to come clean to his friend.
Chris wasn’t sure what was scarier – his guilt, or the consequences of telling the truth. Could he trust Paul to forgive him? Was he right to trust that this was what he should do?
Of course, telling the truth would have been worthwhile no matter what the result was. But Paul’s reaction was even better than Chris had hoped, and the flood of relief and happiness he felt was even stronger than all those bad feelings had been. Not only did Paul immediately forgave Chris, Paul also told Chris that he loved him and that he was his best friend. Chris already suspected that, but now he was sure.
Both learned a lifelong lesson about trust. Chris learned from Paul what unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness was, and Paul learned how much Chris trusted him and that his friendship was so important to Chris that Chris was willing to risk the consequences of telling him the truth and being vulnerable. The experience gave them a lifelong brotherhood that never waned.
It can take courage to trust and to be a true friend. It did for Chris when he trusted Paul to understand and forgive, and when he took a chance on telling Paul the truth. And it did for Paul when he trusted that Chris would tell the truth from now on and when he forgave Chris and let him know how important his friendship was to him no matter what. Neither could be sure it would work out that way, but each trusted the other nonetheless. That’s real love and real friendship.
Submitted by John Iekel, based on a true story