Giacomo Puccini the composer of Madame Butterfly was writing the score for an opera called Turandot. However, because of age and ill health, he knew that he was not going to complete the work. He called his pupils around him, and explained his predicament, and asked them, should he fail to complete the task, that they should accept responsibility for finishing the work. Puccini died before the work was completed. His pupils took what had been written and studied it at great length. They got a feel for what the composer was about, they captured the spirit of the work, they imbibed the inspiration of the maestro, and they set about finishing the score.
At a later date, in the La Scala Opera House in Milan, Arturo Toscanini, one of his pupils conducted the orchestra in the first public performance of the work. It was sheer brilliance; the audience was being swept along with its’ power and genius. Suddenly, Toscanini stopped the orchestra, turned to the audience, and said, "And it was here that the master died; but his pupils took up his work, and continued it to the end", and he turned to the orchestra and continued the performance. At the end it was greeted with enthusiastic acclaim and is reckoned to be one of Puccini's greatest master-pieces.
It is said that it is impossible to distinguish where the master stopped, and where his disciples took over.
As He ascended to his Father, Jesus gave us the great mandate: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." He has given us the work of continuing his mission on earth.
The Lord counts on us. Who we are matters to God and what we do does bring about a difference in the world. It’s both a privilege and a responsibility at the same to continue the mission of Christ. Having reflected on the meaning of the Stewardship of Faith, let’s choose to be good stewards. Let’s join hands with Christ and bear his burden and pull his load.
How do you score for the opera started by our compassionate Lord? Are you doing your share to build up God’s Kingdom in our neighborhood? If you’re not signed up for a ministry yet, this is a good week to think about it. Isn’t it mind blowing to know that God wants and needs our participation in his work? Come join hands with us and sign up for a ministry.
Prayerful wishes and blessings,
Fr. William Rosario