Beyond the Clouds by Fr. Jacob Nampudakam, S.A.C. - Page 39

Have we ever noticed, on this odyssey through the clouds, that we are often seated next to persons we have never met before? In a big plane- and most common for international journeys- there can be up to four people in the same row, only separated by a few centimeters. Most people do not engage in an anything more than a casual greeting, though at times we may find a new friend. We eat meals together- sitting shoulder to shoulder- and our comfort depends on the passenger in front of us. If he chooses to have a comfortable sleep, we are left with very little space to negotiate! Others, moreover, may be both more fortunate and more satisfied in business class. Red or white wine will be granted on demand, and the serving personnel is most courteous and obliging. Yet most of us reading this will fall in the economy class; the ordinary passengers who are neither able- nor wish- to pay the price for anything higher. Here we will also find clergymen or religious, as very few people of this vocation will ever dare to travel in the business class. Pope Francis’ pontificate has had its effect in air travel, too. How many life lessons we can learn from this compressed cabin situation! The more we reflect, the more we realize the truthfulness that they possess. Whether one is seated in business or economy, it is the same plane that carries all the passengers. We all share a common origin and a common destination. Surely, the first class passengers get better treatment and rest. Yet even so, they, too, depend on the same machine. Their safety does not increase in relation to the cost of the ticket or the quality of food. If we land, we do it together. If by chance that landing is in the Atlantic, they will go down first! The moral of the story is that as human beings, we all possess an immortal soul and the same destiny. We share joys, we share pain; we share health, we share sickness. For those that are wealthy, their life may be prolonged due to 39