“As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.” (Lk 23: 26)

One of the most painful and humbling sides of cross-carrying is that we might find ourselves carrying someone else’s. Or somebody else might have to carry ours. This situation, as humbling or even humiliating as it can be, is graced by the precedent of our Lord’s own life-giving passion. He was so weak by this point, having been beaten and tortured in various other ways, that the Roman soldiers “made” Simon from Cyrene carry His cross. The soldiers had that kind of authority.

Why? Because He willed it so. Both His “weakness,” on the one hand, and the “power” of the Roman soldiers, on the other, are willed by Him. Let me accept His will on my own cross-carrying journey today, part of which might be utter weakness – my own or someone else’s.

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