Les Miserables is in Manila! And it’s playing at The Theatre at Solaire Resort and Casino for a limited time only. I wish I could go and watch the live performances, but the logistics of travel to and from Manila, accommodations, braving traffic (the thought of this alone is most discouraging! 😮 ), and leaving my still-breastfeeding baby is probably not sulit. Maybe someday, when Elmo is old enough to sit still in a theater and appreciate this kind of shows (I would love for him to be able to watch this. 🙂 ). But for now, I will just content myself with listening to the OST. It is my favorite and most listened to soundtrack. (For the longest time, “On My Own” was my theme song. 😛 )
Les Miserables is several love stories intertwined: Fantine’s self-sacrificing love for Cosette, Valjean’s fatherly love for Cosette, Cosette and Marius’ love at first sight, Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius, the revolutionaries’ friendship and love for country, and above all, God’s forgiving and transforming love. 🙂
We all know the story of Jean Valjean. Nineteen years in prison, “just for stealing a mouthful of bread”, and he has become a broken and bitter man. 😡 He “had come to hate this world; this world which always hated” him. When a kindly bishop takes him in, he steals the man’s silver and escapes, only to be caught shortly thereafter. Instead of turning him in, the bishop claims that he gave the silver as gift, and Valjean was able to avoid another prison sentence.
The bishop’s actions made Jean Valjean rethink his life and start anew. The generosity and kindness he received has rippled into various directions and touched many lives, including the townspeople which he led as Mayor, the employees in his garment factory, and in particular, the single mother Fantine and her orphaned Cosette. He saves one unnamed man who got mistaken for him from being sent to jail, delivers Marius from death, and even allows Javert to escape.
If Valjean is the personification of grace in this story, Javert is the archetype of the law–cold, rigid, uncompromising, unforgiving. 😡 He lives by the adage that “those who falter and those who fall must pay the price!” Valjean may have been the ex-convict, but it is Javert who is the real prisoner, of his own beliefs and prejudices.
Les Miserables is not a Lenten season staple (unlike say, “The Passion of The Christ”). But I love how it has poignantly and popularly tackled Law vs. Grace without being overtly preachy and moralistic. That Grace always trumps Law 🙂
The truth that once was spoken
To love another person
Is to see the face of God!”
This Holy Week, we commemorate Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross. It is not enough that we only remember, but that we should respond to His sacrifice. That the grace and mercy we have received from Him will transform us to be good and do good. Not out of a sense of obligation or fear of punishment. But out of thanksgiving. Out of love. ❤
Have a blessed and meaningful Holy Week everyone! 🙂