The Fifth Station of the Cross:
Simon of Cyrene helps carry the Cross
They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. – Mark 15:21
When we are given crosses to bear, they can be small or they can be quite large. It can be hard to handle when we try to carry them on our own. In this station, we are given witness to the power of our community. This Simon wasn’t some random stranger. In his Gospel, Mark tells his readers that this was Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus. That’s pretty specific for some stranger in the crowd. This was someone they knew, and knew well, and whether he liked it or not, he had an important role to play in our salvation.
We know that Jesus will help us carry our burdens, but in this moment, we also see that we are given to each other. We will never be left alone in our suffering. We may be pressed into service to help others in bearing their crosses, and someone may be pressed into service to assist us. We are each called to help in Jesus’ work of salvation, just as Simon was. It is a gift that all of us should be ready to give and able to receive.
If you’re just now jumping in, find the rest of the Stations of the Cross here.