Ascension : News from The Grotto – Thought for the Week
Submitted by The Islander (Gavin Yon) 21.04.2005 (Article Archived on 05.05.2005)
In the first letter of St. Peter, we hear about how the Lord, the living stone was rejected by the builders.
In the first letter of St. Peter, we hear about how the Lord, the living stone was rejected by the builders. We are living on one of the greatest examples of this in modern times. We are all familiar with the history of Ascension Island, how it had to be discovered twice before it was even recognized. And then, due to its lack of fresh water, it was basically forgotten for three centuries. Considered useless, it occupied its lonely position in the ocean, passed by seafaring ships and ignored.
It wasn’t until Napolean Bonaparte was exiled to St. Helena that interest in our island happened. From then on, it had an interesting and curious history. Depending on the events of the time, Ascension has served as a garrison, a recuperation spot for the West Africa Squadron engaged in anti-slaving activities, a burial spot for fever victims, a base for the cables that allowed the world to become connected by telegraph, a refueling spot for airplanes during the second world war, a base for satellite transmissions, a training and research location for NASA, a bridge to the Falklands during that conflict, and a tracking station for the US space program.
This is a quite varied history of essential duties for a little island in the middle of nowhere that was once considered a useless piece of real estate. What could better illustrate the lesson of St. Peter? How a stone rejected by the builders could in reality be a cornerstone of great importance? He goes on to advise us that we need to set ourselves close to the Lord so that we may also be living stones in His spiritual house, working to continue His work.
We are needed to continue His work, because our Lord has gone on to a different task. He was with us on this earth to teach us, and to show us the true path. Now, He has gone on to His father’s house, our Father’s house, a house of many rooms, to prepare a place for us. When He told his disciples this, they were confused, and still doubting his real meaning. He reassured them that although He was leaving to prepare them a place, He would return one day, and take them with Him.
To have seen Him is to have seen the Father, he told them. He tells them that whoever believes in Him, will follow in His footsteps, and continue His work here on earth. He will be living with the Father, but He has charged all of us with being like Him, and to perform even greater works. These duties include a great number of services. Every day there is something that we can do to continue His work. Being a kind and generous person is the start. From these attributes, all good things follow. There is an opportunity every day to live our faith, all we have to do is be alert to the chances.