During the Mass celebrated at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Pope Francis expressed his great devotion to Mary, telling attendees, “When the Church looks for Jesus, she always knocks at his Mother’s door and asks: ‘Show us Jesus.’ It is from Mary that the Church learns true discipleship.”
Pope Francis continued his homily by emphasizing the importance of “three simple attitudes: hopefulness, openness to being surprised by God, and living in joy.” He used the readings of the Mass to illustrate these attitudes and affirm how essential they are for the Christian life.
On the attitude of hope, Pope Francis referenced the first reading from the Book of Revelation, and told the crowd,
“Always know in your heart that God is by your side; he never abandons you! Let us never lose hope! Let us never allow it to die in our hearts! The ‘dragon,’ evil, is present in our history, but it does not have the upper hand. The one with the upper hand is God, and God is our hope!”
Regarding the attitude of openness to God, the pope said,
“Let us trust God! Cut off from him, the wine of joy, the wine of hope, runs out. If we draw near to him, if we stay with him, what seems to be cold water, difficulty, sin, is changed into the new wine of friendship with him.”
The result of living a life of hope and openness to God’s surprises is a joyful life. Pope Francis encouraged the attendees, saying,
“If we are truly in love with Christ and if we sense how much he loves us, our heart will ‘light up’ with a joy that spreads to everyone around us.”
Pope Francis concluded his homily by bringing the focus back to Mary and her role in discipleship, saying, “Now she asks us to ‘do whatever he tells you’ (Jn 2:5). Yes, dear Mother, we are committed to doing whatever Jesus tells us! And we will do it with hope, trusting in God’s surprises and full of joy.”
Read the full text of Pope Francis’ homily at Vatican Radio.
Watch coverage of World Youth Day 2013 events at EWTN.com