WATER-COLOUR ON BOARD - Vatican Museum
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to
carry his cross
V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
From the Gospel according to Luke. 23:26
And as they led him away,
they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country,
and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.
The first stars that hail the Sabbath have not begun to shine in the sky,
and yet Simon makes his way home from his work in the fields.
Pagan soldiers, who know nothing of the Sabbath rest, stop him.
They place upon his sturdy shoulders the cross
that others promised to carry every day behind Jesus.
Simon does not choose; he receives an order,
and as yet does not realize that he is accepting a gift.
The lot of the poor is not being able to choose anything,
not even the weight of their own sufferings.
But it is also the lot of the poor to help others who are poor,
and there is one poorer than Simon:
even his very life is to be taken from him.
To help without asking why:
the weight is too heavy for the other
but my shoulders can still take it.
And that is sufficient.
The day will come when the poorer one will say to his companion:
"Come, blessed of my Father, enter into my joy:
I was crushed under the weight of the cross and you raised me up."
you walked, resolutely, on the way that leads to Jerusalem (Lk 9:51)
your sufferings have made you
mankind's guide on the way of salvation (Heb 2:10).
You are our precursor on the road of your Passover (Heb 6:20).
Come and help all who,
knowingly or obliged by dark events,
walk in your footsteps,
you who said:
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Mt 5:4).
Raised up from under the weight of the cross by Simon of Cyrene,
so that he, unknowing companion on the way of sorrow,
might become your friend and guest in the abode of eternal glory.
R/. To you be praise and glory for ever.
Pater noster …
Tui nati …