Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Fifth Station

Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus to Carry the Cross

Jesus is exhausted.  His footsteps become more and more unsteady and the soldiers are in a hurry to be finished.  

So when they are going out of the city through the Judgment Gate, they take hold of a man who is coming in from a farm, a man called Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, and they force him to carry the cross of Jesus.  

In the whole context of the Passion, this help does not add up to very much.  But, for Jesus, a smile, a word, a gesture or a little bit of love is enough for him to pour out his grace bountifully on the soul of his friend.  Years later, Simon's sons, Christians by then, will be known and held in high esteem among their brothers in the faith.  And it all started with this unexpected meeting with the cross.

I went to those who were not looking for me; I was found by those that sought me not (Is 65:1)

At times the cross appears without our looking for it:  It is Christ who is seeking us out.  And if by chance, before this unexpected cross which, perhaps, is therefore more difficult to understand, your heart were to show repugnance...don't give it consolations.  And filled with a noble compassion, when it asks for them, say to it slowly, as one speaking in confidence:  "Heart:  heart on the cross!  Heart on the cross!