10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Word of God with a prayerful heart.
By Jane Borg (No. 240)
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.
It is interesting that we are told so much about Simon – that he had come in from the country and that he had two sons. He was a family man and had probably come in to Jerusalem for business so carrying the cross for this ‘criminal’ was not likely to have been on his travel itinerary. He had responsibilities at home and in town; things to do, places to be.
He was just a passer-by; yet he didn't get to pass by. He was pressed into service. Doesn't have the ring of volunteering in that term, does it? Yet, he did as asked – there was no choice but to obey the Romans.
What about us? Can we be a bit like Simon – things to do; places to be? How willing are we to slow down and look around us to see the needs of others? They might be in our family, our neighbourhood, our workplace or our Church?
It reminds us of Jesus’ challenge to us in Matt 25:31-40 when he is telling his disciples, and us, the basis on which we will all be judged. It is not on our success in business or how many friends we have or how much power or how much money; rather on how we opened our eyes and hearts to others and took action:
Matthew 25:34-36 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’
Lord, help us to be your willing agents of love.