Jesus went from Bethany, surrounded by his friends and a “great number of Jews, who came down from the capital to see Jesus and Lazarus, joined the crowd. At that moment, that conglomeration had acquired the typical air of a pilgrimage: a festive atmosphere, canticles, shouting, psalms.
It seems probable that many Galileans knew Jesus; many of them may have listened to him, or may had been healed by him. On seeing him, not only were they delighted, but also with waving arms, they launched shouts of greeting into the air. The multitude was now compact and the enthusiasm have ignited uncontrollable flames in their hearts when they heard the first allusions to the “King of Israel.”
The disciples brought a humble ass upon which the Master rode. Delirium overpowered the mob; the people ran, some ahead, others behind Jesus. They were ecstatic, beside themselves and seized by unknown impetus, laying their cloaks and mantles like rugs on the road. Some went ahead and broke branches of olives and palms; waving them high like banners, they did not stop shouting: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”.
And Jesus? It was a long time since he had felt the warmth of multitudes as it was today. He knew very well that today’s feast was nothing but a small comfort, a slight satisfaction before entering into the rude scene of the final tragedy.
The multitude must have been huge. It raised up a thick column of dust in its path among shouts and the clapping of hands. This manifestation was so humble, as it was warm. The inhabitants of Jerusalem, gave him a clamorous reception; we might even say, cordial, it might have been a kind of collective contagion from the people’s high spirits. In sum, the day must have been a beautiful and satisfying day for Jesus.
Extracted from the book "The poor one of Nazareth" by fr. Ignacio Larrañaga