As I read reports of Pope Francis’ conversation with the astronauts in space I remembered so clearly the echoing “Space: The final frontier!” This introductory text was spoken at the beginning of many Star Trek television episodes and films, from 1966 onward.

“Final Frontier” took on new meaning for me this morning as I took my turn sitting at the bedside of a dying confrere. Perhaps it was also because we have just celebrated All Saints Day and All Souls Day. I began to think of “The Eternal Frontier.”

As I ruminated, yet other “frontiers” came to mind such as “Africa, the final frontier for global brands,” “Understanding ourselves – the final frontier,” not to mention many “new frontiers.”

I then came back to another kind of eternal frontier of should I say “everlasting frontier?” Jesus said it well. “The poor you will always have with you.” Could we not speak of welcoming and caring for our poorer brothers and sisters as an everlasting frontier?

If so the words from Star Trek should well apply here.

The Everlasting Frontier

Space (Poverty): The final frontier

These are the voyages of the Starship, Enterprise (Vincentian Family)

Its 5-year mission (life-long mission)

To explore strange new worlds (of those who are as yet strangers to us)

To seek out new life and new civilizations (in each person we meet).

To boldly go where no man has gone before

In the classic film “Monsieur Vincent,” in response to the question about what he could have done, the screen writer had Vincent simply say “More!”

Most bypass the question of whether Vincent actually said this. As I reflect on Vincent, he was certainly one who explored the strange new worlds of the poor, world that most people did not know existed. He sought out new life in the lives of those who were on the peripheries.

And so, I am back again with Pope Francis. In ways that go beyond speaking with astronauts in space models going out to the eternal frontiers of our peripheries.

These thoughts got me thinking…

Are we willing to go boldly where others have not gone?

Do we seek out the new worlds of strangers?


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