Jesus even experiences our struggle to receive help.  He is made to experience the poverty of not being able to carry his burden alone.  He enters into the experience of all who must depend upon others to survive.  He is deprived of the satisfaction of carrying this burden on his own.
I look into his face and contemplate his struggle.  His weariness and fragility.  His impotence.

I see how he looks at Simon, with utmost humility and gratitude.

This is for me. So I feel anguish and gratitude.  I express my thanks that he can continue this journey.  That he has help.  That he knows my inability to carry my burden alone.

I say what is in my heart, with deep feeling.

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you;

R. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

From Matthew chapter 27 vs 32

They meet a Cyrenean named Simon. This man they pressed into service to carry the cross.

Christ’s yoke is easy, and His burden light as Simon learned in helping Jesus. Though we naturally resist pain and hardship, we also will find that serving Christ will be a joy.

Jesus, we pray here for fathers of our families. Specially for those fathers who feel pressured to keep their difficult jobs going, in order to pay the bills, put food on the table, give a good education to their children and keep their families happy. Give our fathers the joy to know that by serving their families, they are serving Christ. We love you Jesus.

 

"And spitting upon him, they took the reed, and struck his head. And after they had mocked him, they took off the cloak from him, and put on him his own garments, and led him away to crucify him. And going out, they found a man of Cyrene, named Simon: him they forced to take up his cross."  (St. Matthew 27.30-32)

Mary, Mother of unspeakable Sorrow ...

The world did not simply seek the death of your Son ... but His shame!

He must not die before He can be publicly reviled. He has yet to satisfy the blood-lust of the mob, the vindication of the self-righteous. The soldiers had not yet vented, exhausted, their cruelty upon Him, and the crowds still gathered far ahead, each with a handful, a mouthful, of shame to heap upon Him as He passed. His blood was not enough. They sought more; to shatter the dignity of His beautiful humanity.

Oh, Mary, they would rip Him from your womb even as they tear Him from your heart!

The immolation must be complete, and when the conflagration passes, they would have even the cinders ground into the soil, scattered to the wind. But first He must wend His sorrowful way through the tumultuous crowd, a trail of blood at His feet until He can move no more.

"You! ... Simon! ... You must bear this malefactors Cross, otherwise he will die before we can slake our full vengeance!"

Simon blenches, but is forced withal to the Cross, to carry our shame placed upon Him without sin. The scourges, the buffets, the filth of mankind are hurled at Simon, too, and the weight of the Cross now bears down upon him. The Cross and the to-be-Crucified become his affliction — and he cannot turn away ... or will not!

Pray for Us Simon from the plains of Cyrene! You bore the affliction we throw back into the face of the Father!

With what love, Mary, you had gazed on the face of the man who took to himself the Cross and the Christ!

So gaze on me, under my cross, borne on the shoulders of my Angel, when I fall and have no strength to arise. Look on me, and I will find the strength to endure the buffets of the world and even far darker things ...

Trembling, I take refuge under the shadow of your heel! ... quaff deeply of life from the love in your eyes!

 

Meditation: 

Jesus, the soldiers are becoming impatient. This is taking longer than they wanted it to. They are afraid you won't make it to the hill where you will be crucified. As you grow weaker, they grab a man out of the crowd and make him help carry your cross. He was just watching what was happening, but all of a sudden he is helping you carry your cross.

As a child, sometimes I see people who need my help. Sometimes I pretend not to hear when my parents call me. I disappear when I know others could use my help.

As an adult, sometimes I try to do as little as I can and still get by. Others might need my help, but I ignore their needs. Even when I'm asked to help, I sometimes claim to be too busy.

My Jesus, blest, thrice blest was he who aided Thee to bear the cross. Blest too shall I be if I aid Thee to bear the cross, by patiently bowing my neck to the crosses Thou shalt send me during life. My Jesus, give me grace to do so.

Prayer

My Jesus, Your tormentors enlisted a Simon of Cyrene to help You carry Your cross. Your humility is beyond my comprehension. Your power upheld the whole universe and yet You permit one of Your creatures to help You carry a cross. I imagine Simon was reluctant to take part in Your shame. He had no idea that all who watched and jeered at him would pass into oblivion while his name would go down in history and eternity as the one who helped his God in need. Is it not so with me, dear Jesus? Even when I reluctantly carry my cross as Simon did, it benefits my soul.

If I keep my eyes on You and watch how You suffered, I will be able to bear my cross with greater fortitude. Were you trying to tell all those who suffer from prejudice to have courage? Was Simon a symbol of all those who are hated because of race, color and creed?

Simon wondered as he took those beams upon his shoulders, why he was chosen for such a heavy burden and now he knows. Help me Jesus, to trust your loving Providence as you permit suffering to weave itself in and out of my life. Make me understand that You looked at it and held it fondly before You passed it on to me. You watch me and give me strength just as You did Simon. When I enter Your Kingdom, I shall know as he knows, what marvels Your Cross has wrought in my soul.
 

Dear Lord

you have involved man in the carrying of your Cross. 
You have invited us to share your sufferings. 
Simon of Cyrene is like us 
and he teaches us to accept the Cross 
that we encounter on the paths of life.
Following your example, Lord, 
we too carry the Cross 
of suffering and illness today, 
but we accept it because you are with us. 
It can nail us to our chair, 
but it cannot prevent us from dreaming; 
it can obscure our vision, 
but it cannot touch our conscience; 
it can deafen our ears, 
but it cannot prevent us from listening; 
it can bind our tongue 
but it cannot suppress our thirst for truth; 
it can weigh down our spirit, 
but it cannot rob us of our freedom.

Lord, 
we want to be your disciples 
so as to carry your Cross every day; 
we will carry it with joy and hope 
because you are carrying it with us, 
because you have triumphed over death for us.

We give you thanks, Lord, 
for every sick or ailing person 
who knows how to bear witness to your love, 
and for every "Simon of Cyrene" 
whom you place on our journey.

1 Our Father 

1 Hail Mary 

1 Glory Be ...

O Jesus Crucified - for us you suffered - for us you died - On the Cross

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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