If you have had the opportunity to see Les Miserables you will recognize this picture of Jean Valjean meeting the bishop who exemplifies the goodness and mercy of God at this most critical time of Valjean's life. As I prepare myself to enter into the beautiful season of Lent next Wednesday, I hold in my heart the desire to be the presence of Christ for others in the ways God is calling me to do so. I may not meet a hardened criminal or a be involved in a crisis moment of another. My day may be very routine and end "without much happening." Still, I am God's instrument and even the way I answer an email or a phone call can communicate the desire in my heart for the good of the person at the receiving end.
Our society encourages me to surround and cuddle my ego with all the selfishness I can. Yet Jesus shows me in his suffering and passionate death, that it is selflessness that is important. It is giving. Giving in and giving up. Giving to and giving away. I pray for the grace to give as Jesus gives to me, to each of us.