The Fifth Station - Simon of Cyrene carries the cross for Jesus
V. We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You
R. Because by Your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.
Simon was coming in from the country, probably for Passover. He had no idea what was happening. He was "pressed into service," forced to carry the cross for Jesus. We never hear of him again, although there is a tradition that he became a bishop. St. Mark tells us that he was the "father of Alexander and Rufus" two individuals who were probably known to his readers.
A day that at its start was like every other, became a life changing event for Simon and his sons. Could you imagine yourself in Simon's place? What must he have been thinking, feeling? How long did he carry it? Did he stay to the end?
We are all too ready to ask Jesus for help with our "crosses" quick to ask that our "cup of suffering" pass us by and yet Jesus invites His followers to take up the cross daily and follow in His footsteps.