They compelled Simon, a native of Cyrene in Africa, who was on his way from the fields at the time, to carry Jesus’ cross. Mark 15:21
Many of us are unexpectedly given a weight we cannot shake off; sickness, a death in the family, or even worse, exile, eviction or famine.
Whether we like it or not, we have to suffer in some way or another. A stranger shared Jesus’ burden. Sharing helps carry the burden.
Where we show kindness to those who are suffering, where others show kindness to us when we suffer, there is Christ.
The day of glory will come when those who show care and kindness hear the words “Come, blessed of my Father, enter into my joy, for when I was overburdened you raised me up.”
Lord Jesus, you were helped on the way of the cross by Simon. Give us grace to receive the help of others when we need it. Encourage us to help our neighbours in need, even when this interferes with our own plans and desires. Help us to see that in sharing one another’s burdens we walk in your way.
Revd Canon Ian Gomersall, Rector of St Chrysostom’s.
Now move to the Sixth Station.