Presider: We adore You O Christ, and we praise You. (genuflect)
All: Because by Your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.
Put yourself in Simon’s place. He was a foreigner from Cyrene, in Africa, and he just happened to be coming in from the country that day. The Roman soldiers forced him into service. But he seems to have accepted the task willingly. He may even have been a follower of Jesus and heard Jesus’ words – “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” What a blessing to be in the right place at the right time!
Jesus did not refuse his cross. He accepted it and thus set the stage for Simon to enter the picture and show us how desperately God wants us to help those in need.
In a way, Simon is a mysterious figure. He was pressed to help, and we don’t really know how he felt about being compelled to abandon his own plans for the day and carry the cross of a convicted criminal. But though possibly reluctant at first, just the gift of being in Jesus’ presence would have overcome any hesitation Simon could have felt. As the walk went on, Simon’s discomfort at carrying the weight of the cross must have been lifted by the rapture of following in the footsteps of God himself.
SUGGESTED ACTION STEPS:
We are called to help in many ways, no matter what our age. And we have endless opportunities. We can help prepare food for the hungry. We can lighten the burden of the homeless by serving in programs designed to help their situations. We can learn to love our neighbor, regardless of the color of their skin. We can pray for refugees and immigrants. And we can accept offers of help graciously, as Jesus did.
Dear Lord, let me see those who are hurting through your eyes. Show me how to follow through to relieve their physical and mental anguish. And when I am suffering, please help me carry my cross as Simon helped you carry yours. Amen.
BY: Maureen Brady, Senior Adult Ministry