Cardinal Arizmendi: With Christ, there is Resurrection

Let us draw closer to Jesus and then we will have the strength necessary to overcome all the stones that come our way in life


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 “With Christ, there is Resurrection.”



A friend suffered from the disease of alcoholism. He caused a lot of problems for his wife, who took care of him with care, patience, and affection, despite the disgusting scenes of his drunkenness. He never hit her, but he did try to run her out of the house. When I visited him, very hurt, he told me: I am the black sheep of the family… Instead of reproaching him, we always encouraged him to get ahead. His wife raised their children to respect his father. Over time, the husband changed; but since his body had been damaged enough, he died. The family, to date, has remained very close; the children never abandoned their father, and they care for their mother with great love, who insists that they get closer to God. Where did she find that strength? She prayed a lot and tried to go to Mass almost daily. With Christ, the cross is more bearable and there can be the resurrection.

A lady suffered from cancer and her family left her almost alone. She suffered a lot from the radiation and chemotherapy, but above all from the abandonment in which she found herself. She went to the sacrament of reconciliation and Sunday Mass, to find not only health, but also strength and new encouragement. Furthermore, she has already overcome cancer and is very recovered, but with many resentments towards her family and towards other people, because she feels that they belittle her and distance themselves from her. Likewise, she seeks sacramental confession and participates in the Eucharistic celebration, because she says that there she finds energy and life to not let herself be invaded by bad feelings and to love those who she feels do not love her. The Risen Christ gives us new encouragement and drives us to new life.

In my hometown, many people participated in the traditional Good Friday representation. In the afternoon, a terrible fire broke out in the neighboring hills, threatening to destroy avocado and peach fields and orchards. Many people came to put out the fire, to support those who have land and houses in the region. In prayer, in the word of God, they find reasons to love each other as brothers, to be a people united in good times and bad. Faith in Christ Crucified and Risen moves hearts to live fraternity.


Pope Francis, at this year’s Easter Vigil, has told us

Sometimes we feel that a tombstone has been placed heavily at the entrance to our heart, suffocating life, extinguishing confidence, locking us in the tomb of fears and bitterness, blocking the path to joy and hope. They are pitfalls of death, and we find them, along the way, in all the experiences and situations that rob us of the enthusiasm and strength to move forward; in the suffering that assails us and in the death of our loved ones, which leaves us with voids that are impossible to fill; we find them in the failures and fears that prevent us from achieving the good we desire; we find them in all the closures that stop our impulses of generosity and do not allow us to open ourselves to love; we find them in the walls of selfishness and indifference, which repel the commitment to building cities and societies that are more just and dignified for man; we find them in all the longings for peace broken by the cruelty of hatred and the ferocity of war. When we experience these disappointments, we have the feeling that many dreams are destined to be shattered, and we also ask ourselves in anguish: who will roll away the stone from the tomb? (March 30, 2024).

In his Urbi et Orbi message last Sunday, he proclaims: Today the announcement that came out two thousand years ago from Jerusalem resonates throughout the world: ‘Jesus the Nazarene, the Crucified, has risen’ (cf Mc 16:6).

The Church relives the astonishment of the women who went to the tomb at dawn on the first day of the week. Jesus’ tomb had been closed with a large stone; and so today there are heavy rocks, too heavy, that block the hopes of humanity: the rock of war, the rock of humanitarian crises, the rock of human rights violations, the rock of human trafficking, and others more. We too, like the women disciples of Jesus, ask each other: Who will remove these stones from us? (cf. Mc 16:3). 

And here was the great discovery of Easter morning: the stone, that big stone, had already been rolled away. The amazement of women is our amazement. Jesus’ tomb is open and empty. From there everything begins. Through that empty tomb passes the new path, the one that none of us but only God could open: the path of life in the midst of death, the path of peace in the midst of war, the path of reconciliation. in the midst of hatred, the path of brotherhood in the midst of enmity.

Jesus Christ has risen, and only He is capable of removing the stones that block the path to life. Furthermore, He Himself, the Living One, is the Way; the Way of life, of peace, of reconciliation, of fraternity. He opens a passage for us that is humanly impossible, because only He takes away the sin of the world and forgives our sins. And without God’s forgiveness, that stone cannot be removed. Without the forgiveness of sins, it is not possible to get rid of the closures, prejudices, mutual suspicions or presumptions that always absolve oneself and accuse others. Only the risen Christ, giving us forgiveness of sins, opens the way to a renewed world. Only He opens the doors of life to us, those doors that we continually close with the wars that proliferate in the world (March 31, 2024).

And in his Easter Monday address, he states: “The resurrection of Jesus is not just wonderful news or the happy ending of a story, but something that changes our lives and changes them completely and forever. It is the victory of life over death; It is the victory of hope over discouragement. Jesus has passed through the darkness of the tomb and lives forever: his presence can fill everything with light. With Him each day becomes the stage of an eternal journey, each ‘today’ can wait for a ‘tomorrow’, each end a new beginning, each moment is projected beyond the limits of time, towards eternity.

The joy of the Resurrection is not something far away. It is very close, it is ours, because it was given to us on the day of our Baptism. Since then, we can find the Risen One, and He tells us: Do not fear! Let us not give up the joy of Easter.

But how to feed this joy? As the women did: finding the Risen One, because He is the source of a joy that never runs out. Let us hasten to seek him in the Eucharist, in his forgiveness, in prayer and in the charity lived. Joy, when shared, increases. Let us share the joy of the Risen Lord” (1-IV-2024).


Let us draw closer to Jesus, who is alive and resurrected in the Eucharist, in the other sacraments, in his Word, in prayer, in the community, and then we will have the necessary strength to overcome all the stones that come our way in life.