1st prel. Stat.
2nd prel. Stat.
3rd prel. Stat.
The 5th Station:
HERE Simon the Cyrenean
helps Jesus carry the Cross
Jesus moves on along the valley. Now before him appears the hill where he was to be crucified. Not too steep, but steep enough for a man who had
suffered the lashes and whose face had been dripping blood due to the crown of
thorns he was still wearing. His feet were trembling again. The soldiers were
trying to keep abreast the crowds who were gathering along the path.
realized that this man was not going to make it. They needed help. They looked
among the crowd and saw a sturdy man, Simeon from Cyrene ("A certain man from
Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in
from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross" - Mk 15,21). They
thought he could help.
He was accompanied by his two young children Alexander
and Rufus. They too were questioning their father about what was happening.
They had never before seen a crucifixion and like all children they were
curious. Their father could not explain to them why, today, the eve of their
main celebration, the Romans were executing these three persons. Neither
could he explain to them why one of them was bleeding and wearing a crown of
thorns.He had been in his fields. He did not know what had happened during the
A Roman soldier moves on to him and with arrogance pushes him over. He
was afraid, as were his sons. The Roman soldier tries to explain what he wanted
him to do.
And Simeon, seeing the bleeding man, did not hesitate. He came out
and took upon his shoulders Jesus' cross-beam. This was their first
meeting and Jesus looked at the man. Who knows what they must have said to each
other? Who knows what impression Jesus made on Simeon?
Surely, they moved
uphill and Jesus followed suit. Someone on the wayside heard him mumble these
words: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you
rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in
heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden
is light" (Mt 11,28-30).
Dear Jesus, how relieved you must have felt when the Cyrene took from your
shoulders the weight of the cross-beam! That must have helped you a lot to face the
steep uphill walk toward Calvary. The Cyrenian shared with you the burden!
you, dear Jesus, to teach me to come forward whenever someone is crushed under
the burden of life. Teach me how to forget myself for the sake of alleviating
the sufferings of the others. Help me be a voice for those who cannot speak, an eye for those who
cannot see, an ear for those who cannot hear. But above all, let me be a heart
for those who cannot find love and care in a world so full of prejudice! Let me
be a source of light for those who are burdened by a senseless dark life. Dear
Jesus, let me share with you the weight as the Cyrene did!