Station V – Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry his cross.
The fifth station of the cross demonstrates for us the power of presence in the life of the poor and oppressed. Being where suffering is, associating ourselves with it, standing with those whom society has condemned is a great and gracious witness.
At times, this witness is thrust upon us: the state wants more tax money to support the poor or a neighbor turns to us for help we did not freely offer and do not want to give. But sometimes, if we’re lucky, we find ourselves in one of life’s great acts whether we want to be there or not. Then we so often discover that it is not so much what Simon did for Jesus as what Jesus did for Simon that counts.
The questions of the fifth station are, What are we being called to do for someone right now for which we are a disinclined observer? What does the situation have to offer us, as well? When we open our hearts to the other in need, we are very likely to discover that our own hidden needs have been healed in the process.
excerpts from Way of the Cross: Gateway to Resurrection by Joan Chittister