A very poor family by the name of Carpenter, lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
The oldest boy was given education in the city, with the help of some family friends, who generously financed his studies when they realized he wanted to become a doctor.
The boy Carpenter, graduated with honors…
… but declined all job offers to practice medicine in the city.
He decided to go back to the mountains, where there were many sick people and few doctors.
For many years he ministered to the sick.
>> Some paid, most couldn’t.
>> He gave his very best and helped everyone he could.
In his old age he was in broken health himself and almost penniless.
>> Two small rooms above the town grocery store were his home and office.
At the foot of the creaky stairs leading up to his office was a sign with these words: “Dr. Carpenter is upstairs.”
One morning someone climbed those stairs to find their devoted doctor dead.
The entire community was plunged in grief.
>> They wanted to erect some kind of monument to him.
But they decided to simply write these words on a large tombstone: “Dr. Carpenter is upstairs.”
Today, on this Ascension Day, the Church proudly displays the placard of hope and salvation: “Dr Carpenter is upstairs!”
>> But unlike the doctor boy who died, Jesus –the Divine Doctor of our souls – is alive…
… and continues to heal people and bring salvation to all people!
Yes, “Jesus, the Dr Carpenter is upstairs!”
This is the day…
… in which Jesus ascended to the heavens, as a culmination of the glory of the Resurrection
… on which Jesus gave the mission mandate of preaching His Good News to the entire world.
In our proclamation of the Apostles’ Creed, we affirm:
“… He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty!”
The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is a declaration of various pointers for our reflection…
1. The Ascension is an event that reminds the glory and majesty of the Lord, who is sovereign over all
The Lord ascended.
Elsewhere in the Bible, we have incidents of persons being taken up to heaven
• Enoch was taken up by God: “Then Enoch walked with God and he was no longer here, for God took him” (Gen 5:24)
• Elijah went up: “As they walked on conversing, a flaming chariot and flaming horses came between Elisha and Elijah, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind” (2Kgs 2: 11)
• Mother Mary was ‘assumed’ into heaven, body and soul (Dogma of the Assumption)
However, Christ ‘ascended’
>> It was His Power that made Him to ‘go up’ to the heavens.
This is a tremendous demonstration of His Divinity, His Glory and His Power!
2. The Ascension is an event which radiates hope to the suffering and optimism to the distressed
The interesting saga of Christ’s life, beginning with….
… His simple yet powerful event of His Birth…
… His ordinary yet impressive event of His ministry…
… His agonizing yet impactful event of His passion and death…
… His glorious and spectacularly amazing event of the Resurrection…
… finds its joyful and resplendent finale in His Ascension to the heavens.
This is a beautiful exhibition of how a life, lived in faith and commitment, even if it has to go through the barbed wires of pain, humiliation, suffering and uncertainty…
… has a splendid and magnificent ending!
3. The Ascension is an event that urges us in our commitment to be Missionaries for the Kingdom of God
The Lord’s concluding words to His apostles constituted a binding mandate…
… to go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation
… to be an instrument of His power to cast out demons, to speak in new tongues, to endure poisons, to lay hands on sick and restore them to recovery.
This is a dutiful reminder of how the Lord trusts and has immense confidence in each one of us to be the proclaimers of His word.
• The Lord wishes to reign over in our hearts.
• He wishes to be the sovereign ruler of our lives.
May the Feast of the Ascension be a reminder for us to open our hearts to let the Lord to be in total command of our lives.
a. The conviction in His love
b. The zeal to be His Missionaries and
c. The passion to make this world a holier place
… help and strengthen us, to be “doctors of healing and love” in our world of suffering and pain!
Yes, “Dr Carpenter is upstairs!”
Happy Feast of the Ascension!
God Bless! Live Jesus!