SIMON IS FORCED TO CARRY MY CROSS
The statue you're seeing now is the Fifth Station of the Cross, "Simon Is Forced to Carry My Cross," depicts the encounter between Jesus and Simon of Cyrene, who is compelled to help carry the heavy cross. This station holds profound symbolism and valuable lessons for pilgrims.
Simon's unexpected role emphasizes the involvement of ordinary people in Jesus' suffering, inviting us to reflect on our own role in Christ's redemptive mission. The weight of the cross signifies the immense burden Jesus carried, while Simon's assistance teaches us the importance of sharing in the burdens of others and embodying sacrificial love.
The station also highlights the concept of "cross-bearing" in discipleship, reminding us that following Jesus may involve facing hardships and challenges. Simon's forced involvement demonstrates the trust we must place in God's providence and His strength to fulfill our duties and respond to the needs around us.
In summary, the Fifth Station encourages us to embrace acts of selfless service and compassion, carrying each other's crosses as we journey in faith. Through Simon's example, we learn the value of being instruments of Christ's love and support, participating in God's divine plan with humility and readiness. As pilgrims, may we embrace the call to follow Jesus' example of love and sacrifice, carrying one another's burdens with a willing heart and deep empathy.
Leader: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Response: Because, by Your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.
Leader: Consider how weak and weary Jesus was. At each step He was at the point of expiring. Fearing that He would die on the way when they wished Him to die the infamous death of the cross, they forced Simon of Cyrene to help carry the cross after Our Lord.
Response: My beloved Jesus, I will not refuse the cross as Simon did. I accept it and embrace it. I accept in particular the death that is destined for me with all the pains that may accompany it. I unite it to Your death, and I offer it to You. You have died for love of me; I will die for love of You and to please You. Help me by Your grace. I love You, Jesus, my Love; I repent of ever having offended You. Never let me offend You again. Grant that I may love You always; and then do with me as You will.