5 Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross
They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Mark 15.21
Simon was just going about his daily business when he happened across the sad procession of condemned men on their way to Calvary. As the soldiers force him into helping to carry the cross of Jesus how angry he must have felt at this brutal interruption to his day. But St Mark’s Gospel tells us not only his name but the names of his children. They are known to the Christian community. This chance encounter touched Simon’s heart, and he became a disciple.
We acknowledge in penance our own reluctance to help those in need if it interferes with our own plans or desires. We pray for the grace to share the sufferings of others and so to build up the body of Christ.
Lord, help us to recognise you in the faces of those who need our help.