A Joyful Noise: Pope Francis Arrives in Central Park

Standing on my balcony 16 floors above Central Park I waited for Pope Francis to ride by. Hundreds and hundreds of fellow New York people squeezed together on lawns and lanes down below.

I trained my binoculars on the Seventh Avenue exit to the park. He was supposed to ride through it.

Suddenly a sound arose from people in the park, a beautiful sound I never heard before. It was better than anything at a rock concert or at the end of a great Seinfeld standup riff. It was spontaneous. It wasn’t clapping. It was a moan of joy. I’m sure nobody planned to make that noise. It was a single note of love.

I’m not religious, but I was during that long two minutes. Maybe I will be again. It sure felt good,

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