Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lent Day 32 The Fifth Station: The cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene.

Cyrene  is in northern Africa, so Simon was a foreigner and outsider in the city of Jerusalem.  Many times, members of the dominant group are blinded by their social privilege and this makes it difficult for them to see the suffering of others and to show empathy. Simeon helps Jesus carry the burden of the cross. I’m reminder of my 7th grade geography class. While the geography facts are sketchy at best, I vividly remember some of the moral lessons taught by our caring teacher. On many occasions, we would see him picking up liter in the hallways and on campus. One day a student asked him “why do you pick up trash and insist that we keep our desks aligned in a perfectly straight rows, don’t we have custodians who are paid to do those things for us?” He replied “I do it to lighten the burden for others” and he admonished us to do the same in our daily lives. In our random acts of kindness we help the living Christ, represented in our humanity, carry the daily burdens of the cross. Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, have mercy upon us.

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