Unlike the Yahoo story, I am quite sure Pope Francis wasn't stumped or surprised by the 12-year old question. Neither was Francis the only one who knew how to respond to such a question but most of us really would be stumped.
The Pope is a very public figure and for those who gets it, he actually answered the question almost you might think his Lord would have given the same answer.
The greatest poverty in the world Mother Teresa said in countless speeches is the poverty of love. So when the Pope saw an embodiment of that great poverty the answer is compassion, and he told others to do the same.
Through tears and love, with much prayer that is not visible beforehand the answer will come. Not once, but over the days, months and years until the end of your life and to the end of time.
It's a lifetime answer.
Here is a sample of too common foolish and loveless response we often see. This is taken from a response to Yahoo's article.
But we should not be surprise that people are like that. Clueless to them but several degrees of freedom removed they contributed to the plight this 12-year old girl and countless others.
This child's question did not invite an answer to of the sort why the sky is blue. It must be answered actively, sacrificially with loving action. Well fools do not know they are and so they are very public about their foolishness.
Now here is Nicholas Kristof apt and compassionate response as a journalist who had witnessed much human tragedy and told us what he had often seen. He gets it.
So what is love? It is the most misunderstood word in the world. It is also the great test to tell the wise from the foolish too.
Update: Jan 23, 2:20pm