I sit here, crying on and off. My crosses are so heavy today that I can hardly hold it all in. So sometimes, I’m not.
Then I read about the country singer who is dying. Her husband reflects on the music video they made where they “imagined” that she had died and was singing to him about when she left. And now it’s becoming reality. His cross is so heavy.
And I think, “Isn’t that cross heavier than mine? Why am I so unconsolable when my crosses are puny compared to his?”
But they aren’t. All crosses are the same size. The same weight. Unbearable.
As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross.
They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.
As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus.
As a Catholic, I believe that I can unite my sufferings to Jesus’s sufferings on the cross. That I can “offer up” what I’m dealing with and in a way, become Simon of Cyrene. The Catechism says this:
On the cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the “sin of the world,” of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion. (1505)
The suffering Jesus took on, the cross that he carried and was nailed to and died on, is something of worth. It’s something we can all carry and take on. And we do, oh do we all suffer. But when unite ourselves with Jesus, we become Simon to him, and better than that, he becomes Simon for us.
Does that mean that he is going to come down from Heaven in a blaze of glory and say “Here, Rachel, let me take all your suffering and get rid of it”? No. Simon didn’t take the cross away from Jesus, he helped him carry it, eased the burden for a moment and helped give Jesus the hope and strength to continue on in faith.
So he’ll soothe my soul. And send others to help ease the pain a bit. Give me the hope and solace to know that suffering doesn’t last forever. Eventually death will come, and with it the resurrection.