Fifth Station: Jesus is helped to carry His cross by Simon of Cyrene

As they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.

Luke 23:26

Perhaps Simon of Cyrene represents all of us, at that moment when we suddenly face a difficulty, a trial, an illness, an unforeseen burden, a heavy cross. Why? Why me? Why now? The Lord calls us to follow him, though we know not where or how.

The best thing to do, Jesus,
is to follow you, to be open to what you ask of us.
Many families can confirm this
by direct experience:
it does nothing for us to rebel, it is best to tell you “yes”,
for you are the Lord of heaven and earth.

But not only because of this
can we, and must we, say “yes” to you.
You love us with an infinite love.
More than a father, or mother, or brothers and sisters,
more than a wife, or husband, or children.
You love us with a far-seeing love,
a love which, above and beyond all things,
even in our moments of unhappiness,
wants us to be safe and happy, in your company, for ever.

Even in families, at the most difficult times when momentous decisions must be made, if peace dwells in our hearts, if we heed and understand what God desires for us, then a light shines upon us, helping us to see matters clearly and to carry our cross.

The Cyrenean also brings to mind the faces of all those people who have been close to us at times when a heavy cross befell us or our family. He calls to mind the many volunteers throughout the world who generously devote themselves to comforting and assisting those suffering and in distress. He teaches us humbly to let ourselves be helped at times of need, and to be Cyreneans to others.

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