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On the way to Jesus’ crucifixion, who’s the person that gets closest to Jesus?
Mary, John, and Mary Magdalene are watching from a distance for the most part. Peter and the other apostles aren’t around. The crowd and soldiers only get close enough to beat Him.
It’s Simon of Cyrene who’s recruited by the Romans to carry Christ’s cross. Under the weight of the cross, he gets closest to Christ.
In the film, The Passion of the Christ, this is beautifully portrayed. Upon the Roman’s request, Simon’s reluctant. He says it’s “none of his business.” Eventually, he starts to defend Jesus, even encouraging Him to go on. By the end of the journey, he’s literally covered in Christ’s blood.
And, when they reach Golgotha, there’s a moment when Simon stares into Jesus’s eyes. He has no words, but he leaves that place a changed man.
This message is simple, yet beautiful. We may not be as holy as the Blessed Mother or John. We might just be ordinary men. But, if we want to be close to Christ, we need to be willing to take up our Cross, to walk with Him, to trust in Him, to suffer with Him, to bleed with Him, to die with Him, and ultimately, be raised to new life through Him.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” Matthew 11:29-30