Carrying the Cross

BRIDGEPORT— Parishes throughout the Diocese will observe Good Friday today with processions, Stations of the Cross, and the Solemn Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion. Thousands are expect to join in processions in Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury and Stamford to commemorate the Lord’s Passion and prepare for Easter. In this brief reflection, Bishop Caggiano urges Christians to find strength by carrying the cross for others.

“As we celebrate this Good Friday, we commemorate the singular event of our salvation, in the free offering of Jesus’ life on the Cross. As we venerate His Cross, let us also recall those in our midst who carry their own personal crosses each day.

Simon of Cyrene was forced to help Jesus to carry His Cross, when the soldiers recognized that without his help, Jesus might have died on the way to his Crucifixion. As we ponder the love that Jesus revealed in His death, Simon’s example invites us to reflect upon our response to those who suffer. More specifically, how often do you and I help those around us to carry the weight of their personal crosses? How many people do we know who are suffering today and will face their struggles alone, without any companionship, compassion or reassurance? How many times have we chosen to be like Simon of Cyrene, standing amidst the crowd and watching someone else’s misery and deciding to do nothing? How many times must our neighbor fall before we are ready to help him or her carry their cross?

The world will hear these questions and respond: I have my own problems to solve, my own struggles to face. How can I help carry someone else’s cross? However, what the world has not yet learned is that the simplest way to carry my own cross is by helping my neighbors to carry theirs. When we do so, we discover that the power of Christ’s love will give us the strength to carry both.”

Good Friday Procession, Bridgeport (by Amy Mortensen)