Station V, Simon the Cyrene Takes Up the Cross

March 15, 2017

By Sister Marie Immaculee Dana

We are invited to walk with Jesus during this Lenten Season with the Stations of the Cross. Reflections written by Sisters of Mercy will be posted each Wednesday and Friday during Lent until Good Friday, April 14. We pray to find immeasurable Mercy as we walk these moments with Christ Jesus.


Artist Eric Gill, “Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus to Carry the Cross.” Available under a CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported) license.

Artist Eric Gill, “Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus to Carry the Cross.” Available under a CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported) license.

Isn’t this man, stumbling and falling under the weight of that cross, that same Jesus who cured so many, fed the hungry, comforted the sorrowing, spoke for the powerless? The people of his time anticipated a powerful king to destroy their oppressors, but his power was in “giving.” Why is he being led out for crucifixion? Wait, he is stumbling again. He can’t go on.

Ah, they’ve pulled Simon the Cyrene out from us bystanders to help him carry that cross. Simon isn’t certain that he should be doing this. Maybe Jesus doesn’t want him to interfere; maybe he feels that he has to do this himself. As Simon picks up some of the weight of that rough cross, he sees the appreciation on Jesus’ face. Clearly, recognizing his own human need, Jesus is grateful to Simon; he can continue his journey to Calvary.

This is a journey that he must complete for us, a journey that he now invites us to take with him. All that Jesus did for others—for me—was preparation for it. Now, he draws us deeper into the mystery.


We who have committed ourselves to the service of others through Mercy tend to see ourselves as doers. It is hard to accept the assistance of others, to be dependent, receivers. Jesus, in his humanity, made it possible for Simon to share more fully in the way of salvation. Can we, too, find the simplicity and humility to recognize our needfulness and graciously accept the service of others on this journey to Calvary? Jesus did.

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