We start our Holy Week by blessing palms and listening again as Jesus makes his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. It is a story we have heard so many times. It is a story full of imagery and noise!
But have you ever thought what a different story we would be telling today if the unnamed owner of the donkey had refused to give it up? What if that unnamed owner had simply said NO to the request? It would be a completely different entry into Jerusalem for Jesus.
What we fail to appreciate today is that back then a donkey was a very important animal. The donkey was the equivalent of a car, a truck and a tractor all in one.
It was a car because people used it to move around and do their shopping, a truck because it was used to carry load, and a tractor because it was used in cultivating the land. Add to this the fact that the donkey (as we are told in the gospel) had never been ridden, means it was brand new and had a very high market value.
So you can see that giving up the donkey was a very big sacrifice. In fact, it was a generous and heroic act of faith.
As we gather at the start of our Holy Week perhaps the unnamed owner of the donkey might be something to reflect upon. No matter how unknown a person is, they can still play a crucial role in the unfolding of God’s plan. The Lord needs each one of us as he needed the unnamed owner of the donkey to trust and to be generous. Perhaps in ways unknown and unfathomable to us at the moment, we are being asked the same question as the donkey’s owner but will our response be as generous?