When the name of the new pope was announced, I thought it might have been a tribute to that missionary Jesuit. Not so.
It wouldn’t be out of sorts with the example of Pope Francis, with his emphasis on the mission of the Gospel and the spread of it to the most distant boundaries.
The map below illustrates the missionary voyages of Francis Xavier. The 1540′s were only a half-century removed from Vasco de Gama’s arrival in India and less than thirty years after the Magellan project circumnavigated the planet.
On that timetable, the Jesuits should have already had a presence on the moon beyond the thirty or so craters named for their scientists. Why so slow?
The psalmist imagined a time when there would no longer be a moon. Perhaps this anticipates a human presence on a godly mission under alien skies:
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth. (Psalm 72:7-8)