When we read the Parables, it is important to know who the intended audience was for Jesus’ stories. Some stories were told by Jesus directly to teach his Disciples, some were aimed at the Jewish leaders, the Pharisees or the Sadducees, others for the general public. Without knowing the audience, we can easily misconstrue what the parable mean. That is why its worth a period of study devoted to finding out the background to each of Jesus’ stories.
All the parables have universal themes which still talk to us today. There are 46 in the New Testament but 3 of those repeat a story just changing the characters . Some parables are only one sentence long, others are longer with significant stories. They often contain symbolism that relates the physical world to spiritual matters. Jesus uses common themes of the kindness and generosity of God and the perils of turning away from God along with the consequences of doing so.
Some parables are easy to interpret such as the Good Samaritan whereas others like the Labourers in the Field, hired at different times of the day, yet paid the same, have a more profound meaning.
A good activity in Lent is to have a brainstorm and write down as many parables as you can remember. You could do it with a friend and then see how many you have missed out. Once you have your list, try and find those you missed out and read them over the season. If you cannot find time to do that, revisit the less familiar ones and see if you can understand what Jesus was trying to teach us.