There were many bystanders as Jesus carried His cross to Golgotha. Among them were those who were curious, helpless and scared. So when Jesus was too weak to carry His cross any longer, none of the onlookers were able to help Him out, all except one because he wasn’t standing by. “A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross” (Mark 15:21). The fifth station of the cross inside the Franciscan chapel in the old city of Jerusalem commemorates Simon’s brave act.
While Scripture implores us to take up our own cross, it also asks us to help those who are too weak to carry theirs. Paul writes, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). We cannot simply stand by when we can help someone who can’t stand up for themselves. We should do whatever we can do to help take the load off their mind. Let’s be like Simon whose act of sacrifice inspired his own family to follow Christ (Romans 16:13).