Salutations! How are you doing today? I hope that you are well. As I was searching the Internet for some inspiration for this week’s eNewsletter I was struck to find that for a time this date of January 14th was celebrated as the Feast Day of the Donkey. (thecompassnews.org) It was a special day to remember the privileged place of the lowly creature in salvation history. There are several biblical passages that speak about donkeys within Sacred Scripture and as a part of the living Tradition of the Christian faith.
In the Prophetic Book of Zechariah in the Old Testament it was foretold that the Messiah or, “king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (9:9). This was fulfilled in the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1–11, Mark 11:1–11, Luke 19:28–44, and John 12:12–19). Furthermore, it is believed that the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-5) and then from Bethlehem to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-23) was made with the assistance of a donkey. Bearing all of that in mind I thought that it would be fitting to conclude this article with a poem entitled “The Donkey” by renowned English author and devout Catholic G.K. Chesterton:
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.