Beyond the Clouds by Fr. Jacob Nampudakam, S.A.C. - Page 60

There are times we pick up friendly conversations with our neighbor during long flights. Often, they start simple; the appropriate greeting depending on the time of day, progressing into where we live. “I am from Rome or India,” I say, perhaps garnering the response, “I was in India last year and visited the Taj Mahal!” Just like that, the conversation turns captivating and time flies by. In the flight of life, we come across many such first-time friends, all leaving behind a special trace of memory within us. Hence, it's so important to keep our hearts and minds open to new opportunities. If we remain enclosed in our inner world of fantasies, we will miss that chance to experience the novelty of life and the beauty of creation. In a very unexpected way, I happened to meet some very different passengers today. Though they taught me something very new, above all, they touched me most profoundly. It is the 18th of November 2018, the Second World Day of the Poor initiated by Pope Francis. I was invited to concelebrate Holy Mass in our parish of St. Christoph and St. James in Paris, France, during my visitation to the French Region of the Society. At the end of the celebration, I was asked to give a short message, and spoke about the person of Pope Francis and his deep love for the poor. I reminded the assembly that we are all poor before God, and that recognition in this existential truth can strengthen our relationship with the Father, as it enables us to put our trust in Him all the more. 300 or so people filled the Church, and it was evident they came from the 5 continents of the world, particularly Europe and Africa. In seeing the multiculturality, I told them that being poor also meant reaching out to our brothers and sisters in need, and welcoming those who knock on our doors for help. That is the plight of most migrants who flee their countries to save their own lives, or to find hope for their families at home. I shared the story of an abandoned little girl in Rwanda, who was adopted by 60