This was one of the Pope's reflections Monday when he met with the Roman Curia and other officials for the traditional exchange of Christmas greetings.
"A party is an integral part of joy," the Holy Father acknowledged. "And a party can be organized, but joy cannot.
"It can only be offered as a gift; and, in fact, it has been given us in abundance. That's why we feel grateful."
The Pontiff recalled how St. Paul lists joy among the fruits of the Holy Spirit and in the same way, St. John unites the Spirit and joy.
"Joy is the gift in which all other gifts are summed up," the Bishop of Rome affirmed, just a few days before Christmas. "It is the expression of happiness, of being in harmony with oneself, something that can only be derived from being in harmony with God and his creation."