As I have been prayerfully reflecting on Pope Francis’ expressed wish to see a “poor Church and a Church for the poor,” I had a flash insight Sunday morning that connected his aspirations with the Gospel-like vision of poverty and redemption found in the musical, Les Misérables.
In fact, you might say that Les Mis offers a sort of dramatic and redemptive theology of poverty steeped in mercy that addresses socio-economic injustice, the role of virtue in genuine reform and the power of evangelical poverty in those chosen by God to bring Jesus’ glad tidings to the poor. I think here especially of the Christ-figure that the Bishop was in the musical/movie, and even of the more striking resemblance between Pope Francis’ style and that of the historical bishop [N.B. maroon words are always hyperlinked] that stood behind the Les Mis character. (See also this clip on the Bishop)
If you get to watch the movie again, see if you also can perceive in it a dramatized “Franciscan” program for ecclesial reform and evangelizing fire in a Church whose load has been lightened and whose face by Christ’s has been brightened.
Or, just maybe, you will see that I have too much time on my hands to even think of such things.
In any event, any viewing of Les Mis can only leave you enriched.