Saturday, March 14, 2015

THE SEVENTH STATION: Simon of Cyrene carries the Cross of Jesus

V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

READING: Mark. 15:21-22

They compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his Cross. And they brought him to the place called Golgotha, which means the place of the skull.

REFLECTION: "Simon of Cyrene, called upon to carry the Cross (cf. Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26), doubtless had no wish to do so. He was forced to. He walked beside Christ, bearing the same burden. When the condemned man's shoulders became too weak, he lent him his. He was very close to Jesus, closer than Mary, closer than John who - though he too was a man - was not called upon to help. They called on him, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as we learn from the Gospel of Mark (Mk 15:21). They summoned him, they compelled him.

How long did he continue to resent being forced into this? How long did he continue to walk beside this condemned man, all the while making it clear that he had nothing in common with him, nothing to do with his crime, nothing to do with his punishment? How long did he go on like that, torn within himself, a barrier of indifference standing between him and the Man who was suffering? "I was naked, I was thirsty, I was in prison" (cf. Mt 25:35-36), I carried the Cross. "Did you carry it with me?" "Did you really carry it with me to the very end?"

We do not know. Saint Mark simply records the names of the Cyrenian's sons, and tradition has it that they were members of the Christian community close to Saint Peter (cf. Rom 16:13)." (Pope John Paul II)

*Moment of Silence

Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory be...

NEXT: THE EIGHT STATION: Jesus meets the pious women of Jerusalem

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