Today is the fortieth day after Easter, which is the feast day of the Ascension, celebrating Jesus' return to the right hand of the father. The following story is posted to fit with this theme:
Perhaps you have never heard of Giacomo Puccini. He was an Italian composer. He left the world some wondrous music. But in 1922, only 64 at the time, he was diagnosed with cancer. Though very ill, he continued to work on the opera Turandot, which many people consider to be his best. Many people tried to convince him not to waste his limited energy on a piece he could not possibly finish but he pressed on.
When he death was near, he said to his students:
"If I do not finish Turandot, I want you to finish it for me."
He did not finish the opera. Immediately after his death his students gathered together all of the scores and his notes, studied them with great care, and then finished the opera.
The opening performance took place in 1926 and was conducted by one of Puccini's students. When he reached the place where the his teacher had stopped composing the conductor put down his baton, turned to the audience and said to them, "Thus far, the master wrote, and then he died."
No one moved and no one made a sound for several minutes. Then he picked up his baton again and smiled through his tears. He said, "But his disciples have finished his work."
Tears flowed with the music and the sound of the applause went on and on.