Holy Week: The Donkey

-Palm Sunday-

And when they drew nigh to Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto mount Olivet, then Jesus sent two disciples,
2 Saying to them: Go ye into the village that is over against you, and immediately you shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them and bring them to me.
3 And if any man shall say anything to you, say ye, that the Lord hath need of them: and forthwith he will let them go.
4 Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion: Behold thy king cometh to thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of her that is used to the yoke.
6 And the disciples going, did as Jesus commanded them.
7 And they brought the ass and the colt, and laid their garments upon them, and made him sit thereon.
8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way: and others cut boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way:
9 And the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.  (Matthew 21:1-11)

The Donkey by G. K. Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

image source: Semi-abstract composition with donkey balanced on hand, forest and fishes; illustration from C K Chesterton’s ‘The Donkey’. c.1930-7 Woodcut  © The Trustees of the British Museum

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