Cardinal Vincent Nichols gave this Pause for Thought reflection on BBC Radio 2 on Easter Sunday morning, 4 April 2021.
Do you remember the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas? Brokenhearted at the dying of his father, he famously wrote these words…
“And you, my father, there on the sad height, curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Now, last night in churches throughout the world, that dying light was overpowered by the light of thousands of candles – each representing another struggle against death but a victory over its darkness.
This is the victory celebrated today, Easter Sunday, the victory of Jesus Christ over death itself. His tomb was stone cold and closed. The story was over. He lay wrecked and defeated. Yet that very tomb proved to be the gateway to a new life. He rose into a life of light, radiance and return.
But this is no escapism, His glorious body still marked by the vicious wounds of death, but they’re wounds now truly healed and integrated into something more. Risen to heaven, He brings all things home. This He does by His power as God. This He shares with us, for He has made His own our very flesh and blood.
You know, in this last, dreadful year, death has touched this nation, our families and communities. Death has left us raging at its cruelty. But today, I tell you, death does not have the last word. No, there is a power more glorious, a larger horizon ablaze with colour, a destiny opened for us.
And today is its day. So I wish you all a very happy Easter are poised, restored our confidence, strengthened our sense of self redefined by this unique event. Jesus risen from the dead. Our hope and joy. Alleluia.