- Palm Sunday or the donkey's
The Evangelists tell us that at the beginning of this
tragic week named the "Holy Week" that preceded his
death, Jesus needed a donkey. He said to his Apostles: "If
you are asked why you are untying this donkey, you will answer
that the Lord needs one".
Why a donkey for this show of triumph that we call "Palm"
Sunday from the palms and branches of trees waved by the supporters
of Jesus? Because a donkey has a lower status than the horse.
In the Biblical tradition a horse represents the strength, the
power, and the self-confidence of man. A warrior on a horse does
not need God. A warrior on a horse makes war, crushes his enemies,
and shows his power. A horse is harnessed for the kings, the
powerful. It is the weapon and the symbol of violence at war;
it means the arrogance of man, the conquering power.
At the opposite of the horse is the donkey. A donkey is devoted
to pacific tasks. It is seen plowing in a field. It lives with
few things, like the poor and the peasants that it helps to live.
A donkey is the camel for the poor, the friend and the server
of the hard-working. Is it strange that Jesus, a friend of the
poor and of the scorned people, the servant of the servants,
makes his triumphal entrance to Jerusalem on a donkey's back?
Once more we see Jesus both as servant and master, washing his
disciples' feet and in the meantime saying that he is their Lord
and master making a triumphal entrance on a donkey's back. What
kind of a master, of a Lord does he want to be?
He is the one who "has the words of eternal life"
like Peter acknowledged, the one who gives a meaning to life,
the one of whom the teaching makes you live and to think about.
He is a master of wisdom. A wisdom that is never imposed but
always proposed: " If you want
" It is this mixture
of authority and vulnerability that has seduced his friends and
that has allowed them to recognize in Jesus, a fragile human
being like them but showing a conviction that seemed coming from