Today, the Holy Mass starts with the palms blessing and the procession to go into the temple. Thus, Palm Sunday evokes the “triumphal” entrance of Christ the King in the Holy City, shortly before his Passion. It is his last and final ascent to Jerusalem: this ascent which will culminate in the Cross. A few days before, the Master had resurrected Lazarus and in the city there was a great expectation.
Today Jesus is presented in his capacity as a King. This time, He does permit people to acclaim Him as a King. Good Friday will confirm his royal condition before Ponce Pilate, the highest civil authority of the place. But his kingdom is not of this world. He pointed it out to the governor, and this is how He today explains it to us.
He is, indeed, the King of the indigent: He arrives «riding on an ass», as the prophet Zechariah had announced (Zech 9:9). «He did not arrive in an ostentatious royal carriage or on horseback like the great figures of the world, but on a borrowed donkey» (Benedict XVI). And this is because God always acted smoothly: when He was born in this world (a stable, a manger, some diapers); when he “left” this world (a donkey, a cross, a sepulcher). Everything very daintily as if to avoid worrying us or troubling our liberty.
With this King «He shall proclaim peace to the nations» and «the warrior’s bows shall be banished» (Zech 9:10). Yes, Christ will transform the cross in a “broken bow”: the Cross will not be anymore an instrument of torture, of scoff and slaying, but a throne where to reign from by giving life to all others.
Finally, the crowds met Him by acclaiming Him: «Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord» (Lk 19:38). That day there were a few thousands; in the 21st century there are many millions of voices that «from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of earth» (Zech 9:10) sing it in the "Sanctus" of the Mass: «Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest».