March 31, 2019 – Ruminations by Fr. Pat

How heavy can our crosses be? As we have been reflecting on how we carry our cross, it sometimes feels that we can, like the Lord, be a super hero. We can do anything – at least on paper. We say confidently sometimes, and sometimes proudly, that we can manage everything.
How often, however, is the opposite true? We sometimes feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. We bravely try and try, but some days we fail. We may not go into despair, but we come close. Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death Remain here and keep watch with me (Matthew 26).” We even ask the Lord to take away the burden. He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
In carrying our cross we can always use some help. Jesus had Simon of Cyrene. We may have family or friends. Simon of Cyrene did not understand at first what he was doing. He thought that he was just being “volunteered” for the job. It was later that he understood the true meaning. The same might be for our family or friends. Only later do we understand the privilege we were given.
Although Jesus had to bear the full weight of the cross, just like us, He was never alone. The angel ministered to him in the Garden. Simon helped Him. Mary and John were there to comfort Him while He hung on the cross. In our lives we never have to be totally alone. People are there to help.
Allow them.
Lord, make me realize that every time I wipe a dish, pick up an object off the floor, assist a child in some small task, or give another preference in traffic or the store; each time I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, teach the ignorant, or lend my hand in any way – it matters not to whom – my name is Simon. And the kind-ness I extend to them I really give to you (Everyone’s Way of the Cross).

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