Lenten Reflections | Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross

Bible Verse

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves;

~Romans 15:1 (RSVCE)

Reflection
There have been times when we have been reluctant to serve in areas we aren’t comfortable with, or stand up for someone who most needed it, or sacrifice that little sleep in the afternoon to attend a meeting or have we taken up responsibilities out of force or when ‘there was no other choice’, Simon of Cyrene too need not want any part in carrying the Cross and probably must have tried to escape it. Don’t we too want to run away when things get dirty? Or out of our comfort zone?

Jesus was too weak to carry the Cross anymore and Simon, the only man to have borne the Cross with Jesus helped Him at His weakest. It’s an unexpected detour from his plan for the day. Scripture doesn’t tell us why he is appointed for the task or how he reacts. The point, it seems, is simply what he does. He serves a man in the hour of His greatest need. Here we remember that as with Simon, our acts of service—expected or not, appointed or not, eagerly shared or not—carry great weight in the kingdom of God.

From that chance counter, faith was born. Jesus, whose divine love alone can redeem all humanity, wants us to share His Cross so that we can complete what is still lacking in His suffering. Whenever we show kindness to the suffering, the persecuted and the defenceless, we share in their sufferings, we help to carry the same Cross of Jesus.

Prayer
Lord, I don’t want to do this because this scares me or could embarrass me or could simply put me out of my comfort zone, but still Lord if this is what you truly want of me, I surrender my inhibitions at your feet and believe that you looked at suffering and held it fondly before you passed it on me. Give me the strength to help my fellow brethren carry his cross even when mine seems to be difficult to lift just like you strengthened Simon of Cyrene. Amen

Life Sharing
A few years down the line, I was not a very helping person. I would do it sometimes for recognition or just for personal satisfaction. I wouldn’t go out of my way to help. During the times of exams, I would stay away from people who needed help with the subject since it would not give me enough time to prepare well. This one time, a friend approached me and literally begged me to just teach him enough to clear the papers. I was really reluctant to help but I begrudgingly agreed and roughly went through the important questions. Honestly, I felt I could have aced the paper but I could never trade it for the widest-ever smile I got from the person when I stepped out of the examination hall. And at that moment, I felt grateful for the little way I could make someone happy.

Action Plan

  • I will make it a point to help at least one person in need every day starting this Lenten season.
  • I will not complain and blame God when things don’t go my way.
  • I will pray for all those who are working for the Lord and are going through prosecutions.

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