Easter Vigil of the Lord’s Resurrection, St Patrick’s Church, Tyholland, Saturday 15 April 2017.

On this Easter night we are presented with the supreme example of the triumph of value over price.’ Mgr Joseph McGuinness

‘t was the brilliant Irish wit, Oscar Wilde, who famously wrote that a cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. There can often seem to be such a hard cynicism at the heart of modern life – in social attitudes, international relations, political culture, even in basic human relationships.

‘n a world afflicted by the horrors of war and violence, the destruction of human lives may be seen as a price worth paying for power or the purity of ideology. In a country now accustomed to rising homelessness, Direct Provision and increased strains on family life, there can seem to be a greater concern for the price of houses than the value of homes. In the face of all the brutal realities of our world, in a climate of anxiety and uncertainty, it is easy to succumb to a cynical and weary view of life and begin to lose hope.

‘or us as Christians, gathered on this most sacred of nights, the picture is very different. In the words of the great Easter proclamation:

“The power of this holy night dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy; it casts out hatred, brings us peace, and humbles earthly pride.”

‘n this Easter night we are presented with the supreme example of the triumph of value over price. For what Jesus Christ has done for us is of a value beyond measure, and given without any thought of the cost. In the brilliant light of the Lord’s Resurrection, we as Christians see clearly where real value is to be found in our lives. The Resurrection of Jesus doesn’t just show to us the infinite value of redemptive love and self-sacrifice, but also exposes the worthlessness of human betrayal, greed, jealousy and cruelty.

‘rue, there is suffering and grief in our world; there is poverty and injustice, cruelty and oppression. And we, as Easter people, must respond.

‘rue, we can ourselves be given to greed and jealousy, selfishness and intolerance. And we, as Easter people, must repent.

‘ut the greater truth is that there is also human kindness, compassion and generosity of heart; there is hope and consolation, joy and love. And we, as Easter people, must celebrate.

‘n a world of uncertainty, anxiety and fear, may we hear again and again the words of the Risen Lord: “Do not be afraid.” Let us be fearless in living and proclaiming the Easter message in all its joy. May it bring to us and to our world the infinite value of love and a hope beyond price. Christ is risen – Alleluia!

Joseph McGuinness

St Patrick’s, Tyholland

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