12 February 2024 | Catechesis

THE WAY OF THE CROSS 2023

Colosseum

Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry his cross

(Voices of peace from three migrants from Africa, South Asia and the Middle
East)
And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in
from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus (Lk 23:26).
[1] I am someone wounded by hatred. Once you experience hatred, you do not
forget it, it changes you. Hatred takes on terrible forms. It leads a human
being to use a pistol not only to shoot others, but also to break their bones while
other people look on. There is a void of love inside me that makes me feel like a
useless weight. Who will be a Cyrenian for me?
[2] I live my life on the road: I escaped from bombs, knives, hunger and pain. I
have been pushed onto a truck, hidden in trunks, thrown onto unsafe boats. Yet
my journey continued in order to reach a place of safety, one that offers freedom
and opportunity, where I can give and receive love, practice my faith and where
hope is real. Who will be a Cyrenian for me?
[3] Frequently, I am asked: Who are you? Why are you here? What is your
status? Do you expect to stay? Where will you go? These are not questions
that are intended to hurt, but they do hurt. They reduce my hopes to a check
on the boxes of a form. I must choose foreigner, victim, asylum seeker, refugee,
migrant or other. Yet what I want to write is person, brother, friend, believer,
neighbour. Who will be a Cyrenian for me?

Let us pray together, saying: Forgive us, Lord Jesus!
When we disdained you in the unfortunate: Forgive us, Lord Jesus!
When we ignored you in those who need help: Forgive us, Lord Jesus!
When we abandoned you in the defenceless: Forgive us, Lord Jesus!
When we did not serve you in those who suffer: Forgive us, Lord Jesus!