Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday, March 4th

Before introducing us to Jean Valjean, the central character of Les Miserables, author Victor Hugo details the life of Monsieur Myriel. He is “an upright man…well-read, even learned…a sage.” He is well-versed in Scripture and wise. He is respected and eloquent. He is “one of those strong, tested, and indulgent souls, where the thought is so great that it cannot be other than gentle.” This is a man who knows God.

But he also knows God. When Jean Valjean - out of prison after nineteen years with no friends, no resources, and no place to stay - needs shelter, M. Myriel takes him in. When Jean Valjean steals his silverware in the middle of the night, M. Myriel accepts this as a contribution to a poor man. And when Jean Valjean, captured by the police for this crime, is brought back to M. Myriel, the priest not only forgives him, but gives him the candlesticks as well. Then he says, “Do not forget, ever, that you have promised me to use this silver to become an honest man.” The rest of the story is Jean Valjean’s attempt to do so.

M. Myriel acts in love, and changes a stranger’s life. This learned man, this eloquent priest, is also a man of heart. As Hugo writes, “He did not study God, he was dazzled by Him.”

Lord, help us to truly know you.

Jennifer Shaw

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you do not know how to leave a comment, please select "comment as" and then either "Name/URL" and type your name and webpage (if you don't have a webpage you can leave "URL" blank). Or you can select "annonymous" if you would like to omit your name. Once you do that you can type your comment in the box. Thanks.