Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Irony of Palm Sunday

 Our readings for Palm Sunday can be found by clicking on the Link

“He rode in a swirl of acclaim to His foreseen degradation and he rode in fear. John Ruskin noted the irony of Palm Sunday when he saw an ass eating palms in the huge crucifixion scene of Jacopo Tintoretto. The triumph and defeat are indeed linked, since both are messianic. Not the Messianism of wars and conquests but that of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah. The irony of Palm Sunday, the victory of the despised, is expressed in G. K. Chesterton’s poem, The Donkey” 

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.

(Garry Wills, What Jesus Meant, pp99-100)


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