The first time I saw Les Miserables I almost burst into tears when the priest gave the candlesticks to Jean Valjean as he was about to be arrested and returned to prison. Don’t the priest’s actions so remind of us God’s love extended to us at our moments of deepest ruin or need? God’s love, when received, changes lives on a deep level. It’s possible to be lifted from the muddy waters of sin and given another chance. God’s love makes us a new person, the old is gone and a new life is before us. I think we call this “redemption.”
Look at all the “second chances” in our story: Fantine died in peace, Cossette was rescued from a hellish existence, Marius was brought back from near death by another’s sacrifice, Valjean found love, and even Eponine gave her life for the one she loved. God redeemed their pain in different ways, but His hand was obvious to those who have eyes to see. Others, such as Javert, turned their back on the possibility of redemption.
“By the witness of the martyrs, By the Passion and the Blood, God has raised you out of darkness; I have bought your soul for God.”
Redemption is God’s love showered on undeserving people and giving them another chance. Where can you see those places in your life? Who did God use to get you there? Have you come to understand that you are a new person in Christ—the old is gone and all things have become new? Christ’s Passion and Blood have paid the price for your forgiveness. Like Jean Valjean, you have the choice to live a life that honors God, loves others, helps others and walks in the light of His love.