Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem recalls Isaiah’s prophecy (Is 62:11) and Zechariah’s prophecy (Zech 9:9). Both speak about salvation when a king arrives. But what is different about this King is that He is lowly and humble because He arrives on a donkey instead of a “war horse.” Notice that Matthew talks about a donkey and a colt. While it says that Jesus sat on them, does it mean that Jesus sat on the clothes or on one animal and then the other?
St. Jerome felt that the two animals represented Israel (donkey) and the Gentiles (colt). The donkey seems to be more peaceful, but stubborn, while the colt might be a bit wild. This conveys the idea that the Gentiles are new to God and His Law. Thus Jesus is now bringing them both together.
Spreading garments on the ground was an expression of homage to a new king. The leafy branches convey a festal procession (Ps 118:27) while the cry of hosanna means “save us” (Ps 118:25). “Blessed is He” (Ps 118:26) is one of those substantial words which will even appear in the Beatitudes. It is a word worth exploring and praying over. We use it to describe the Blessed Mother and very holy people. It almost expresses a mystical experience which is granted to very holy people as they live out the Beatitudes.
Today we begin Holy Week. I hope you will take advantage of the many services and Masses that we will celebrate. Please take note of all the different changes from our normal routines. During this time ask God to help you to understand that He has loved us first and has proven it by giving us His only Son as a sacrifice to atone for our sins. In understanding this, we may be able to return our love to Him by keeping His commandment in love of others. This involves personal sacrifice, but as Christians we can unite our lives to Christ’s many mysteries which we celebrate when we say the Rosary.
I do hope you will come and experience our school children as they perform the live stations. There are two opportunities to do this – on Thursday, April 17th at 10 AM and at noon on Good Friday, April 18th.