Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Are You Simon Of Cyrene Or Veronica?

By Zoe Cannon
Zoe Cannon

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).

There is a right and necessary way to live. “The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.” –G. K. Chesterton

A healthy family unit fosters an environment where serving others becomes routine and the everyday things of life form wonderful memories. When we embrace God’s love at the center of our being, all things are possible.

Discerning our call to serve is a lifelong journey. What is God calling you to do today? Ask, and He will provide all the answers you need! Children are fast learners, and what they observe from others affects their attitude about life. When I was growing up, our neighborhood was where we learned to respect people outside our household. The families next-door had similar values and aspirations for their children. The same rules applied in every yard we played in; and when necessary, each Mom or Dad had permission to reprimand us when we were out of line. This stability of principles provided a clear picture of right and wrong, good or bad behavior. The challenges of life become easier when you know what is expected!

Jesus came to serve, not to be served! “Give, and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in turn be measured out to you” (Luke 6:38).

The Lenten Season is a time to reflect on how to build up the Kingdom of God. There could be no greater example than the cross in practicing obedience, forgiveness, mercy and unconditional love! God desires our faithfulness more than our sacrifices. So, are you a Simon of Cyrene, who needs to be asked to serve others, or are you a Veronica, who offers love without question every day? Simon’s readiness to help carry the cross for Jesus demonstrates how important obedience and respect are in times of need. Veronica stepped out of an angry crowd to wipe the face of Jesus with her veil. This was not her first act of kindness; the opportunity to serve came natural to her. In gratitude, Jesus offered an image of the one perfect and complete sacrifice, His suffering face.

The service industry makes up the largest percentage of the workforce in the United States, but where is the kind human voice when you call for help? We may feel powerless with the trajectory of change in our society, but the invitation to comfort others with a missionary heart is always open. God is patiently waiting for you to ask for His help. Divine strength is our greatest hope for the world!

The neighborhoods have certainly changed. Most people have no idea who lives next door or down the street because no one has time to chat in the yard. We are so busy with work and responsibility, there is little time left to be hospitable. Our children are keeping the same fast pace as we schedule and participate in all the things the world deems necessary. During the Lenten Season think about serving as opposed to sacrificing. Teach your children and grandchildren to nurture their God-given talents, and to pray about where God is calling them to serve as faithful stewards like Simon and Veronica. Because the measure with which they measure will in turn be measured out to them!  Amen!