Passion, or Palm Sunday provides us with a true picture of Jesus our humble servant leader and King, coming into Jerusalem on a donkey. The same Jesus who was carried in the womb of the Virgin to Bethlehem riding on a donkey continues to fulfil his mission in total humility and love now riding into Jerusalem the scene of his passion, death and glorious resurrection on a donkey. This simplicity and poverty allows him to be a leader who is always close to his people.

Last week I received a great blessing, to be one of those gathered in St Peter’s square in Rome after the white smoke appeared from the chimney to welcome our new Pope Francis. Many all over the world have been struck by his concern for the poor, his simplicity and his humility. Like Jesus he comes across as someone who desires to be close to God’s people, humble and ready to serve, someone who will not allow the trappings of power to obscure his view of what is important.

As we approach Holy Week let us too be inspired also to always remain close to those that we serve, amid all the busyness of the coming weeks and the preparations and liturgical celebrations let us stay close to those who we are accompanying on the RCIA journey. Let us pray for the grace to be poor in spirit, humble leaders who are always ready to let go of our own needs and preferences in order to wash the feet of those who the Lord is calling to himself. In the Spirit of Jesus who out of love emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave let us be willing to empty ourselves, to be poor, so that others may become enriched with the graces that flow from the heart of the risen Jesus.