Christ did not command them to lead to him a proud steed adorned with golden trappings, but the mean ass he chose to bear him.
For he ever taught humility, and in himself gave the example, and thus said, “Learn of me, who am meek and very humble, and ye shall find rest for your souls.”
[…] Sion is a hill, and it is interpreted, A place of contemplation; and Jerusalem, Sight of peace.
The daughter of Sion is the congregation of believing men, who belong to the heavenly Jerusalem, in which is ever a sight of peace, without any strife, to which Jesus will bring us, if we follow him.
Christ’s disciples laid their garments upon the ass, because he would not ride on a naked ass. Garments betoken works of righteousness, as the prophet said, “Lord, thy priests are clothed with righteousness.”
[…] The people who cast their garments under the feet of the ass, are the martyrs, who for Christ’s faith gave their own bodies to torments.
[…] Those who hewed branches of trees, and with them prepared Christ’s way, are the teachers in God’s church, who cull the sayings of the apostles and their successors, and with them direct God’s people to the faith of Christ, that they may be prepared for his way.
The people who walked before Christ, and those who followed him, all sung “Hail, Son of David.”
Those who walked before Christ, are the patriarchs and prophets, who were before Christ’s incarnation; and those who went after him, are those who inclined to Christ after his birth, and daily incline to him:
and all these sing one hymn; because we and they all hold one faith, as Peter the apostle said, when he spake of the patriarchs, “We believe that we shall be saved by Christ’s grace, as well as they.”
They said, “Son of David,” because Christ is, according to his human nature, of the great race of David. Of that race was the blessed Mary his mother.
They sung, “Blessed is he who is come in the name of God.” Jesus came in the name of God, for the Heavenly Father sent him for our redemption; and in all the miracles which he wrought, he praised and glorified his Father’s name.
“Hail, Son of David, in the highest.” The Saviour’s advent and his passion were salutary both to men and angels; because we increase their host which the fallen devil had diminished; concerning which the apostle Paul said, “That all heavenly and earthly things should be re-established in Christ.”
Ælfric of Eynsham (c. 955 – c. 1010): Homily 14 (for Palm Sunday), trans. Benjamin Thorpe; icon of All Saints of Britain and Ireland.