Carrying the Cross with Simon of Cyrene
In the case of Simon, Jesus used his own way of the cross to draw Simon to himself, an encounter Simon would not have had otherwise, and possibly an encounter with Christianity in which he would have never engaged. Simon may never have come to pay attention to the Gospel message had he not crossed paths with Jesus. Jesus takes up his cross Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. ALL: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Leader: And carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. (John .
We can be sure that Jesus was grateful to Simon for providing some relief during the Passion, but also for helping him reach his goal of redeeming humanity see Jn and Acts by his suffering and death. A painting by Sebastiano del Piombo. We tend to associate this notion with physical ailments or challenges, difficulties in prayer, mental illness, emotional distress, or any of a number of unwelcome events that inevitably occur in life.
Unwelcome as they are, if they cannot be eliminated or mitigated, they must be endured. However, Jesus tells us in all three synoptic Gospels that carrying the cross is the calling of all authentic followers of what is a buckler in the bible, a cost of true discipleship see MtMkand Lk How we deal with our crosses, then, makes all the difference for us and for many persons with whom we associate.
Of course, the best person from whom to learn how to handle the crosses that come our way is Jesus himself. But, as fallen human beings, it is particularly instructive to consider the only man like us in all things, including sin who actually not metaphorically carried the cross of Jesus aside from our Lord himself, namely Simon of Cyrene.
Nearly miles separate Cyrene and Jerusalem, a journey that would have taken several weeks in the first century. Simon was very likely a Jew coming to Jerusalem for Passover. That he comes from Cyrene is unsurprising because we know from 1 Maccabees that there was a Jewish community in Cyrene how to draw jesus carrying the cross at least years prior to the events of Holy Week; we also know that Cyrenian Jews had their own synagogue in Jerusalem per Acts Earlier in Acts we are told that there were Cyrenians in the crowd who heard Peter speaking on the day yhe Pentecost Later, in Actswe hear of Cyrenians preaching to Greek Gentiles.
Another Cyrenian, Lucius, is mentioned as being in the church in Antioch Acts Certainly, Cyrene was an active center of evangelization in the early decades of Christianity. Simon of Cyrene is mentioned only three times in the What is intro apr credit cards Testament: once each in MatthewMark — quoted at the beginning of this articleand Lukeand all in relation to the episode on the gow to Calvary. From what we know of Roman crucifixions, it is most likely that only the transverse beam was carried by Jesus, and then Simon; the vertical jewus was planted at the crucifixion site.
Contrary to the traditional nesus of the Stations of the Cross, there is no indication in the Bible that Jesus again touched the cross until he was nailed to it on Calvary. Simon may well not have heard of Jesus prior to his visit.
Yet, after this lengthy trip, he was being forced to help this Jesus of Nazareth, a condemned man. Although we hear nothing of Simon in Scripture after this event, it is worth considering what Simon might have made of Jesus per his direct involvement with him, as well as with regard to subsequent news regarding Jesus:. Did he witness the yo of Jesus, or did he make haste to get away from there?
What must his companions if any and others have said afterwards? Was he still in town on Sunday? If so, did he hear of the resurrection while he was in Jerusalem? Might he have been one of those Cyrenians who heard Peter on Pentecost? Then, what was his reaction to all of these vraw happenings in light of his intimate involvement in the march to Golgotha?
Was he eager to tell his story, or did he keep it quiet? Did his attitude toward sharing his experience change over time? Even though Simon is not referred to again in Scripture, we know he leaves a family legacy. Why would Mark do this?
In all likelihood, Mark includes those names in his Gospel because they wouldbe familiar to the Gentile community in Rome ,for whom Mark was writing in fact, Paul, in his letter to the Romans, greets a Rufus and his mother, It seems that the impact of this event was impressed so strongly by Simon upon his sons and how could it not have a lasting effect in light of the resurrection?
This leads us to a reflection on how we handle carrying our inevitable crosses. The cross was unexpected for Simon; the cross is often unexpected for us, as well.
He could fraw refuse the cross and, ultimately, neither can we. While we will never know for sure the answers to the questions we wondered of Simon in the aftermath of his encounter with Jesus, we can use similar queries to examine ourselves:. As alluded to above, unlike Simon — whose knowledge of Jesus at the time he met him on the way to his death, was a passing knowledge at best — we do not have the excuse of not knowing Jesus. Whatever our initial reactions to a significant setback, or tragic event, we can be sure that we have the Lord to fall back on — Jesus gave us his Word.
This grace is not forced on us; we must be open to it. Are we ready and willing to embrace suffering, for the rest of this earthly journey, until the death comes that we all must experience? Intellectually, it is quite easy to subscribe carrhing all that has been said to this point regarding what should be our disposition in times of trial.
But when we actually must cxrrying with a certain physical, spiritual, psychological, or emotional battle, how to fix uneven eyelids without surgery uniting our sufferings with Christ is not necessarily what we would consider an easy or desirable path to follow. Most likely, we wish and hopefully pray that the burden will be removed.
And there is nothing wrong with asking God for relief. If sraw Lord alleviates our pain, we should be quick to acknowledge it, and give thanks to him for the healing. If God does not take away the hurt, though, he may be using jeesus to help us grow in faith or hope or love or maybe he wants us to grow in all three of these virtues.
It may be his way of breaking down the barriers to have us completely surrender to his will in our lives. In the case of Simon, Jesus used his own way of the cross to draw Simon to himself, an encounter Simon would not have had otherwise, and possibly an encounter with Christianity in how to draw jesus carrying the cross he would have never engaged.
Simon may never have come to pay attention to the Gospel message had he not crossed paths with Jesus. As difficult as it is to deal with our own challenges, we are also called to relieve others in their difficulties, being Christ for them — which may end up being their first real and substantial what causes degenerative disc disease in the neck with the Gospel message.
Our example, and our witness, are often the best tools for evangelization. Jesus pulled in Simon, and then led the way. This is the same path given to persons of every age since Christ and, just the same, the path given to us today. Gow his suffering and ours, Jesus draws us to himself, calling us to follow his Via Dolorosa to death. But it does not end there. Jesus conquered death. By faithfully following Christ, we have the promise of resurrection in him. We carry the transverse beam — the horizontal beam of this earthly life — and Jesus raises us up on the vertical beam to eternal life.
We are called to embrace the cross joyfully, when invited to carry it, acknowledging the redemptive value that comes from it, as we walk up to Calvary with Jesus. The reward is everlasting. He resides in Northeast Ohio. This is his second article for HPR. Tne has published an article previously in Lay Witness magazine.
Beautifully done Richard. This gives me a deeper perspective of Simon and his roll in the Crucifixion. Thanks Bill. Thank you Mr. Grebenc for this insightful article! Congratulations on it being published for the Pastoral and Homiletic Review!
As I read through your teaching, I admired the Catholic exegesis in your methodology. I found it a particularly eloquent way of expressing the idea of Col.
I had never considered Symon of Cyrene in the light of redemptive suffering and the intimate relationship it engenders with Christ. Absolutely inspiring article, a great amount of research and personal insights given to this whole event from a perspective of one, Simon of Cyrene, that is not normally talked about a great deal. Surprise—Why has this happened to me? Annoyance—This really puts into disarray my plans, my dreams, my life. Excellent article!!
I appreciate when a writer can break open the Scripture both as a scholar and as a thoughtful, faith-filled Catholic, providing food for the mind, heart, and spirit.
Thanks, Richard. Keep these types of articles coming! Richard, This is beautifully written. I will keep this article for a jwsus time to meditate and reflect on, particularly during Lent.
I appreciate that you took a short Bible passage and expanded on it in a way we how to draw jesus carrying the cross more fully understand what carrying the Cross means, not only in the Scripture verses, but in our own lives today. I found this article to be well-organized and thoughtfully presented. Excellent article Richard! Very well written with much to reflect upon. It is certainly one I will share with others. My friends and spiritual advisors likewise seem unable to help me which is a major embarrassment to me of disappointing them in their well meaning efforts to assist ceoss.
This how to make vanilla soft serve ice cream by one of the 2 disciples one of them thought to be St. This Lent, during my Friday Stations of the Cross,I had to ask myself the origin carruing the 3 Falls of Christ [not mentioned in scripture as you point out].
If the Cyrenian was conscripted to carry the Cross after the 1st Fall, how and why would the 2nd and 3rd Falls have occurred? God is hhe me for what he has prepared for me. While Christ died once and lives now forever, He had His daily share of suffering my human condition from His Birth to the grave.
Thanks for your reflection. All rights reserved. Since About Contact Advertise Submissions. About Richard J. Comments Willam Conte says:.
Jan 02, · A true disciple must take up his cross and follow Jesus (Matthew ). He must be willing to face not only family hatred, but also death, like a criminal carrying his cross to his own execution. True followers of Christ must be willing to give up, even to the point of “hating” all that is in our lives, even our own families, if we are to. The biblical story of Palm Sunday is recorded in all four of the Gospels (Matthew ; Mark ; Luke ; and John ). Five days before the Passover, Jesus came from Bethany to Jerusalem. Having sent two of His disciples to bring Him a colt of a donkey, Jesus .
Question: "What did Jesus mean by coming to bring a sword in Matthew ? I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Among the names of Jesus Christ is that of Prince of Peace. Such verses as Isaiah , Luke , and John make it clear that Jesus came to bring peace, but that peace is between the man and God.
Those who reject God and the only way of salvation through Jesus John will find themselves perpetually at war with God. But those who come to Him in repentance will find themselves at peace with God. Still, it is inevitable that there will be conflict between good and evil, the Christ and the antichrist, the light and the darkness, the children of God believers and the children of the devil those who refuse Christ.
Conflict must arise between the two groups, and this can and does happen within a family in which some are believers and others are not. We should seek to be at peace with all men but should never forget that Jesus warned we will be hated for His sake.
Because those who reject Him hate Him, they will hate His followers as well John In Matthew —36, Jesus said He had come at this time not to bring peace to the earth, but a sword, a weapon which divides and severs.
This is because many who choose to follow Christ are hated by their family members. This may be part of the cost of discipleship, for love of family should not be greater than love for the Lord. A true disciple must take up his cross and follow Jesus Matthew He must be willing to face not only family hatred, but also death, like a criminal carrying his cross to his own execution.