Baptism of the Lord C
Reflection is an essential element of our growth in Christ. As we reflect over what we have learnt and ponder it in our hearts, we come to recognise the presence of God in our lives.
This Sunday's Reflection
Life's great happiness is to be convinced we are loved. Victor Hugo
Les Misèrables tells the story of people with hopes and ideals living in a squalid world marred by sin. We follow them in their differing response to the challenges of life. We see Inspector Javert who believes that adherence to the law reveals goodness, fosters peace in society and will be rewarded both in this world and the next - but his narrow understanding fails to recognise the compromises people must make just to survive in a complex world. We see the revolutionaries who place their hopes in a changed political system bringing justice to the poor and destitute but who fail to realise that hunger and destitution can undermine the courage and tenacity needed for political change. In contrast to these, we see Jean Valjean. His heart and life had been transformed by the generosity and love of Bishop Myriel and, in consequence, he is able to sustain the love and care of his brothers and sisters beyond what seems humanly possible – and indeed is humanly impossible. Having been loved so extraordinarily as a child of God, he was able to love all as children of God. That, for us, is the essence of our baptismal call. We are washed into the life and love of God. In the story of Jesus’ baptism, we are given a sign of what baptism means to us. As Jesus stood with us, so we are to stand with him and hear the words: “You are my beloved.” In hearing and owning this reality, we are given the power to love in ways beyond what may seem humanly possible. Our lives may not be as dramatic as Jesus’ or Jean Valjean’s, for that matter, but we still have the call to offer love in the small and great events of life.