From the Pope’s Homily at the Vigil on the last night of World Youth Day, Saturday 5th.

Here he is reflecting on Mary’s joy on the visitation to Elizabeth:

“Mary’s joy is twofold: she had just received the angel’s message that she would welcome the Redeemer of the world, and she was also given the news that her cousin was pregnant. This is interesting: instead of thinking about herself, she thinks of the other. Why? Because joy is missionary, joy is not just for one person, it is for sharing something with others. Let me ask you: those of you here, who have come to meet others, to find Christ’s message, to find life’s beautiful meaning, will you keep all this for yourselves or will you share it with others? What do you think? Surely it is for sharing with others, because joy is missionary! Let us all repeat that, together: joy is missionary! And so we share this joy with others.

Yet, this joy we have, others have helped us to receive it. Let us look back, then, at all we have received, for it has prepared our hearts for joy. Each of us, if we cast our minds back, can recall those who have been rays of light in our lives: parents, grandparents, friends, priests, religious men and women, catechists, youth leaders, teachers, and so on. They are the “roots” of our joy. Let each of us now spend a few moments in silence to think of those who have given us something in life, who are like the roots of our joy…

Did faces and stories come to mind? The joy that has come to us, thanks to these roots, is what we in turn ought to share, because we have roots of joy. In the same way, we too can be roots of joy for others. It is not about bringing a fleeting joy, the joy of the moment; it is about bringing a joy that generates roots. Let us ask, how can we become roots of joy?

Joy is not to be found in a locked library, even though study is necessary! Joy lies somewhere else. It is not kept under lock and key, but must be sought, must be discovered. It has to be found in dialogue with others, where we share these roots of joy that we have received. And this, at times, is tiring. Let me ask you a question: do you sometimes get tired? Think about what happens when we become tired: we have no wish to do anything; we throw in the towel (as we say in Spanish), because we have no desire to carry on and we give up, stop walking and fall. Do you believe that those who fall in life, who have experienced failure, who even commit serious or grave mistakes, that their lives are over? No! So what are they to do? They are to get back up! Now there is something very profound that I would like you to take away with you and remember: those who come from the Alps, who like to climb mountains, have a very beautiful song that goes like this: “In the art of climbing the mountain, what matters isn’t not to fall, but not to remain fallen”. This is beautiful!

Those who remain fallen have already withdrawn from life, have shut down, closed off from hope and desire, and remain on the ground. And when we see any friends of ours who have fallen, what are we to do? Lift them up. When we need to lift someone up, or help them, do you notice how we are to do it? We look down on them. That is the only time, the only time that we are allowed to look down upon others, when we are offering to help them up. Yet, we often see people looking down on us, or over our shoulder, from above! How sad. Instead, the only way, the only situation in which it is permissible to look down on others is… well, you tell me, out loud: to help them up.”