Cardinal Arizmendi: We are the Hope

Analyze in your own life what you can improve

Cardinal Felipe Arizmendi, bishop emeritus of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and responsible for the Doctrine of Faith at the Conference of the Mexican Episcopate (CEM), offers Exaudi readers his weekly article titled “We are Hope.”



Especially in electoral times, some put all their hope in the triumph of their candidate, be it at the federal, state, or municipal level, some because they sincerely hope that the situation will change for the community; but others support him only because they want their economy to improve. They are those who think a lot about themselves, their conveniences and interests, and not about the social good. They are the ones who give their vote to whoever offers them better economic opportunities, more social support, and more money, regardless of their ideology, their personal life, or their party leagues. Likewise, they don’t care about a party, its platform, or its history, and that is why they change color according to their interests.

At the national level, after the three presidential debates, we see that the three candidates have their qualities. There are interesting proposals and very harsh accusations. For some, the debates have helped them define their vote; for others, just to confirm it. But, whoever wins, whether things change, improve or worsen, the fundamental hope is each of us, both in our personal history and in our family, as well as in our community. If someone you don’t support becomes president, don’t think that all is lost. If you make an effort, even in adverse circumstances, you come out ahead. If you work harder for your family and instill good principles in them, you will succeed. If you care about your neighbors, your street, your neighborhood, your town, your city, and do what is possible and necessary, with the help of others, we will get ahead. We have already gone through rulers from various parties, and there are things that have improved; others have gotten worse. Who governs is important, but we are the most important.

In my hometown, which in the years 1940-60 lived in great marginalization, like the majority of our rural populations, my father, a peasant without school, together with other countrymen, organized themselves and managed to have electricity, water in the houses, road, schools, health clinic, and until he was a parish headquarters. Community organization is the basis of social transformation, beyond parties in power.


Pope Francis, in his homily on Pentecost Sunday, said something that serves us throughout life; but also for the electoral moment that we are experiencing and the post-electoral that we will experience:

“The story of Pentecost (cf. Acts 2:1-11) shows us two areas of the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church, in us and in the mission; with two characteristics, strength and kindness… We have received the gift of the Spirit in Baptism and Confirmation. And thanks to the Spirit, we can and must do it with the same strength and the same kindness”.

With the same strength: that is, not with arrogance and impositions – the Christian is not arrogant, his strength is different, it is the strength that comes from the Spirit – nor with calculations and deceptions, but with the energy that comes from fidelity to the truth, that which the Spirit instills in our hearts and makes it grow in us. That is why we surrender to the Spirit, we do not surrender to the world, but we continue to speak of peace to those who want war; to speak of forgiveness to those who sow revenge; to talk about welcome and solidarity to those who close doors and raise barriers; to speak of life to those who choose death; to talk about respect before those who like to humiliate, insult and discard; to speak of fidelity to those who reject all ties and confuse freedom with a superficial, opaque and empty individualism. All of this without allowing ourselves to be frightened by the difficulties, nor by the mockery, nor by the oppositions that, today as yesterday, are never lacking in apostolic life (cf. Acts 4:1-31).

And at the same time that we act with this force, our advertisement seeks to be kind, to welcome everyone. Let’s not forget this: everyone, everyone, everyone. Let us not forget that parable of the guests at the party who did not want to go: “go to the crossroads and take everyone, everyone, everyone, good and bad, everyone” (cf. Mt 22:9-10). The Spirit gives us the strength to go forward and invite everyone with kindness, He gives us the delicacy to welcome everyone.

All of us are in great need of hope; We need to raise our eyes towards horizons of peace, fraternity, justice and solidarity. This is the only way to life, there is no other. It is true, unfortunately, it is often not easy. What’s more, no sometimes it is winding and uphill. But we know that we are not alone: we are certain that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, with his gifts, we can travel this path together and make it always more passable for others as well (19-V-2024).


Convince yourself: you are hope for yourself, for your family and for the community. Do not put all your desire in the success of this candidate, but analyze in your own life what you can improve, how you can educate your children to be builders of a better world, inside or outside partisan politics. And if there is something that needs to change in your community, organize with others and do everything you can to make situations more consistent with justice and social peace, fraternity and community progress.