The World

Pope stresses at WYD that "joy is missionary".

On Saturday evening, August 5, millions of young people were with Pope Francis in Tejo Park (Lisbon, Portugal) during the Vigil.

Paloma López Campos-August 6, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes
Pope Francis WYD 2023

Pope Francis during the Vigil with the youth at WYD 2023 (CNS photo / Lola Gomez)

On the evening of Saturday, August 5, millions of young people joined Pope Francis in Tejo Park (Lisbon, Portugal), to participate in the vigil of the WYDW. After several performances and testimonies, the Holy Father addressed the pilgrims.

The Pope reflected on the motto of World Youth Day: "Mary arose and departed without delay" (Lk 1:39). "One wonders: why does Mary get up and go in haste to see her cousin?". As Francis pointed out, Elizabeth was pregnant, but so was Mary, so why did she set out on the journey? The Holy Father answered, "Mary performs a gesture not asked for, not obligatory, Mary goes because she loves."

Our Lady was full of joy, both for the pregnancy of her cousin Elizabeth and for her own. The Pope explained that "joy is missionary, joy is not for oneself, it is to bring something". Therefore, he asked the young people: "You who are here, who have come to meet, to seek the message of Christ, to seek a beautiful meaning to life, are you going to keep this for yourselves or are you going to take it to others?

Achieving this joy, Francis said, is not something we do on our own, "others prepared us to receive it. Now let us look back, all that we have received, all that we have received and have prepared, all that, has prepared our heart for joy. If we look back, we all have people who were a ray of light for our lives: parents, grandparents, friends, priests, religious, catechists, animators, teachers. They are like the roots of our joy". This provokes in everyone a call, because "we too can be, for others, roots of joy".

However, the Pope pointed out that we can sometimes fall into discouragement, even though we are in search of the joy. "Do you think that a person who falls in life, who has a failure, who even makes heavy, strong mistakes, is finished? No. What is the right thing to do? Get up. And there is a very nice thing that I would like you to take with you today as a souvenir: the alpines, who like to climb mountains, have a very nice little song that goes like this: 'In the art of climbing - the mountain - what matters is not not to fall, but not to stay fallen'".

The Holy Father wanted to summarize his idea in a single idea, that of the journey. "To walk and, if one falls, to get up; to walk with a goal; to train oneself every day in life. In life, nothing is free. Everything is paid for. There is only one thing free: the love of Jesus. So, with this free thing that we have - the love of Jesus - and with the desire to walk, let us walk in hope, let us look at our roots and let us go forward, fearless. Do not be afraid.

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