“After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem. As he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples. He said, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and as you enter it you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. And if anyone should ask you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ You will answer, ‘The Master has need of it.’? So those who had been sent went off and found everything just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, ‘Why are you untying this colt?’ They answered, ‘The Master has need of it.’ So they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the colt, and helped Jesus to mount. As he rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road; and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.’ Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He said in reply, ‘I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!’” (Luke 19:28-40)
Jesus enters Jerusalem for his redemptive sacrifice of the cross take place. He enters Jerusalem to be proclaimed that he is the king of the Jew. By riding on an ass, he fulfils another prophetic oracle: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass” (Zech 9:9).
The disciples’ acclamation (v. 38) is their acknowledgment of him as King and Messiah, for they honor him with the word from a messianic coronation psalm (cf. Ps 118:26: Blessed to be he who enters in the name of the Lord!”) and receive him as Savior (cf. 2:11-14).
Maybe because they are afraid of possible civil unrest, the Pharisees reproach Jesus for his behavior, but he replies to them with a proverb, meaning by it that is being the Messiah is so self-evident that, if people refused to admit it, nature itself would burst into praise (v. 40). “Let us go out to meet Christ. He is making his way back from Bethany and, according to his will, making haste towards his holiest Passion, to open the mystery of salvation to all mankind.
This is a long journey of the Messiah when Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary, impregnated despite her old age. Elizabeth bore a son, and his name was John the Baptist. Then, after six-month Jesus was born. These two tied up together as John clears the way for Jesus that the Messiah is coming. As John proclaims that the coming of the Messiah is at hand, and we must repent.
This is the beginning of the passion of the Christ when he enters Jerusalem that would end up his mission on earth and pass it on to his disciples to continue to spread the good news.
Jesus rode on an ass to show his humility despite kingship. It is not the Olive branches that we wave, during Palm Sunday, but instead to show our generosity and love for one another.