From the Heart of the Minister – Kate Kleinert, OFS, April 2022 I Will be Your Simon

I will be your Simon.

What a difficult task to take on.  I don’t remember reading in Scripture that Simon of Cyrene jumped to the aid of Jesus.  The Roman soldiers “volunteered” him.  Simon didn’t know this Man who was so badly beaten and not able to carry His cross.  He was only in town to do some errands and that was it;  so much for getting out of town without becoming involved in some political strife.

Have you ever been asked to be a Simon to someone?  God asks you every day.  I imagine Simon to be a tall, muscular man and that’s why the Roman soldiers picked him out of the crowd to help Jesus.  God looks at our muscles, too, before asking us to help carry someone’s cross.  Has my muscle of kindness been exercised lately?  How about that compassionate muscle that may be out of practice?  Is God asking us to help not only for the ease of the person carrying the cross, but to get us to use our long dormant muscles of humanity?  I will be your Simon.

Patiently holding a door open while an older person struggles with their walker,  taking a few minutes to talk to the person you were trying to dodge in the parking lot, putting the trash out for the neighbor who is suffering from a devastating illness and their spouse is struggling to keep up with the kids, a job, and the overwhelming knowledge that the illness isn’t going to resolve itself.  I will be your Simon.

Simon was a young healthy man who had a job that kept his muscles in great shape.  It wasn’t hard for him to get under that beam of the cross and carry it.  He was ready and he was able.  We can’t be of much use if our muscles haven’t been used and used regularly. It is what we are called to. I will be your Simon.

The times we are living in now offer us many opportunities to be the Simon for someone in need. Are you keeping your head down so you don’t have to make eye contact?  These last weeks of Lent are the hardest to get through.  Keep your head up and search for the beaten man carrying the cross and lend your strength to him.  On Easter Sunday morning, He will come find you and say “Now, I will be your Simon”!

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