Modern Britain's "now generation" culture threatens to leave the poor increasingly marginalised, the Catholic Archbsihop of Westminster has said.
Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor says many lack meaning in their lives
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said that too often people expected everything "almost instantaneously".
The Catholic Church leader in England and Wales made his comments at an Easter vigil at Westminster Cathedral.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, will give his Easter sermon at Canterbury Cathedral on Sunday.
'Hope and meaning'
In his homily, Cardinal Murphy O'Connor said many people faced despair without "hope or meaning" in their lives.
He said: "We are often called the now generation because we live in a culture that lives in the present. We expect everything almost instantaneously.
"This can bring spontaneity and freshness but what if you live in a state of poverty or if you experience pain or suffering, bereavement or depression?
"Where is the hope and meaning that lies not only today but in the future?
"Our world so often has no inner meaning or hope to offer the hungry hearts of individuals and nations."
He urged worshippers to become "witnesses to hope".
Contrasting the resurrection of Christ, celebrated at Easter, with individual lives he said:
"When the resurrection of Jesus occurred an angel came and rolled the stone aside.
"For each of us, when resurrection happens, a stone is rolled aside from our life.
"The weight that stops us from living is removed. We can breathe freely again.
"Somehow our weakness, our tomb, has been broken open and we are now able to get to our feet and we breathe freely."
On Good Friday, the cardinal was among about 1,000 worshippers taking part in a procession to Westminster Cathedral.
In an address given from the cathedral steps, he said the world was "groaning in agony" as a result of the pain inflicted on innocent people around the globe.
He spoke of child poverty and abuse and the crisis in Zimbabwe.