These are the themes chosen by Pope Francis for the three-year World Youth Day itinerary that will culminate with the international event scheduled for 2002 in Lisbon:
35th World Youth Day, 2020
2020: “Young man, I say to you, arise!” (Lk 7:14).
36th World Youth Day, 2021
2021: Stand up. I appoint you as a witness of what you have seen. (Cf. Acts 26:16)
37th World Youth Day, 2022 (Lisbon)
2022: “Mary arose and went with haste” (Lk 1:39)
The spiritual path indicated by the Holy Father coherently follows the reflection that started with the most recent World Youth Day (2019) and with the synodal process, in particular with the apostolic exhortation Christus Vivit. In no. 20 of that document, the Pope quotes a passage from Luke 7:14 as he encourages young people to allow themselves to be touched by the power of the risen Lord and to recover “your inner vitality, your dreams, your enthusiasm, your optimism, and your generosity”, traits that are characteristic of young people.
The three themes are connected by their invitation to young people to “stand up” and to go quickly to respond to the Lord’s call to spread the good news, as Mary did after saying “here I am”. The word “stand up” in the original text by Luke also has the meaning of “rise again” and “wake up to life”.