!Today is Good Friday. I and everyone I know well has had to carry a cross sometime in their life that would be a pillory to them. Sometimes I have been a bystander and watched the struggle I confess, thinking I'm glad it's not me, or but for the grace of God, it's not me. Sometimes I have been impelled to help carry the cross with them but if you practice Medicine it can be part of the job so it's not the same, or doesn't seem the same. It's convenient to have a role. A bystander or passer-by in Jerusalem, Simon of Cyrene was minding his own business at the time the parade of convicts went by and because Jesus had been roughed up and was falling carrying the cross, Simon was co-opted by the guards to help carry the cross. Matthew says, "As they went out, they came upon a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; this man they compelled to carry his cross." Mark says, "And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross." Luke says, "And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross to carry it behind Jesus." We don't know what happened after he carried the cross, to Simon of Cyrene, having by the grace of God carried the instrument of crucifixion, probably unwillingly. It's a human thing. The centurions are tough and in charge, the crowds passionate and pushy, we all are short of time and have our own stuff to do. And what can I really do? What difference can I really make? It's really too bad but I am just one of many. Simon was not one of many. We hear no more of him but I can imagine. Time and event had thrust him forever, willing or not, into the warp of God and Man!
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