This year I had the enormous privilege of representing Her Majesty The Queen at the Service for Maundy Thursday, when Christians remember that humility and sacrifice are at the heart of our faith.
At that service, which he attended with my mother so many times over the years, my father, The Duke of Edinburgh, always used to read the Gospel which tells how on the night of the Last Supper, Jesus knelt before his disciples and washed their travel-weary feet.
Our Lord told them that he was doing this to give them an example of how to look after and to serve one another. It is a message they never forgot, and it is as challenging today as it was then.
Today, millions of people find themselves displaced, wearied by their journey from troubled places, wounded by the past, fearful of the future – and in need of a welcome, of rest, and of kindness.
Over the past years, I have found myself heartbroken at the sufferings of the innocent victims of conflict, or persecution, some of whom I have met and who have told me stories of unutterable tragedy as they have been forced to flee their country and seek shelter far from home.
But amidst all this sadness and inhumanity, it has been profoundly moving to see how so many people are ready to open their homes to those in need, and how they have offered their time and their resources to help those facing such soul-destroying sorrow and hardship.
This Easter, as always, we are reminded of Our Lord’s timeless example of goodness in the face of suffering, of courage in the face of fear, of faith in the face of despair. His light triumphed in that dark time. I pray with all my heart that his inspiring example might help us all dispel the darkness of the world…