It has been quite a busy week for me and even more so for my wife Audrey. Her Mother came home from the united states recently. The morning she came home we all decided to go for breakfast at our local cafe called Jackie’s in Dundalk, Co.Louth which is my home town.
We sat and discussed everything we could starting small with questions on how the flight to Ireland was, then progressing to more emotional talk upon Audrey’s current battle with cancer.
We were all pretty tired so we decided to finish the food quickly and take a ride back to the house. On our way there we suddenly turned the corner of the court house ( positioned center of the town ) only to see a man lying on the ground shaken up. He could not bring himself back to his feet. Material possessions of his such as a watch, book were flung from his body. It was clear he had a bad fall.
I suddenly recognized Jesus in this man. It was a strange yet very unmerited graceful experience. I ran to him without hesitation and asked ”are you ok?” ( bit of a stupid question really ) and he replied in a very dazed and confused tone, ”Yes, I just need a little help getting to my feet.”
He was a heavy man, very tall, strong and about his 50’s. To top it all off I recognized his face which by now had a lot of scrapes on it from the hard fall he had. He is a very intelligent, well respected artist/painter in the town. He taught me some art when I was a child but I doubt he remembered my face of course.
After making several attempts to keep him grounded until we perhaps call a Doctor to which he repeatedly refused several times, I bid him farewell. He always has a limp I noticed and that perhaps he may have a disease of some sort that restricts his balance from time to time. Whatever his story was, I was only happy that he was well, so limped onwards into the town amidst the sea of people as if nothing had ever happened and went his way and that was that.
It is really true that we just never know when we will meet Jesus Christ. I mean, we meet him all the time in the hearts of everyone we meet in the city, but I guess we never know when there will come a time when we suddenly turn a corner and be presented with a difficult situation in which we must help Jesus carry his cross. Do we behave like Symon of Cyrene? Either complain or try to avoid this situation, walk on and pretend we never saw this person? Or will we willingly – like many Saints down through history – beg to take the place of Symon of Cyrene and lift Jesus to his feet and also carry his Cross?
Many of us have a Symon of Cyrene in us. Unwilling to part with ourselves to be selfless and help others for fear of what others may think of us.
It is very worthy to note as well just how life can be one minute and suddenly just turn on its head the next. One moment we are turning a corner and laughing, and experiencing Christ in each other and all around us, and having turned the corner, just like that, the moment changes drastically and we experience Christ in his time of need, we no longer are laughing or full of joy, but now we are full of sorrow. Not a depressing sorrow or self destructive type of worldly sorrow ( that belongs to the world ) but a sorrow that is mingled with joy, a sorrow that reaches deep inside us and creates that selfless love for others. A true authentic sorrow like Our Blessed Mother felt watching her only son be hung on a Cross and treated so viciously. None of our sorrows though could ever match that of Our Ladies but she is a perfect example of someone who remained true to her son all the way, through think and thin. A Woman is Our Lady who turned many corners and met Her Son in many moments of Joy and sorrow.
There are many times I have failed to turn a corner and recognize Christ and pass a great treasure by. I did this because my selfish heart made me blind. But I feel it is very important for us always to be ready to turn a corner and be prepared to Meet Jesus, Sometimes laughing and somethings in great pain and in need of our consolation ( not that he would need us for he himself suffices alone. ) but he does desire that we help him carry His Cross for him. Because when humans suffer, Jesus suffers too because we are part of his body. Like my wife and I who are one body. When my wife is in pain, I am in pain also, because she is my body and vice versa. And both my wife and I are connected to Jesus and he suffers when we suffer.
I’d like to thank you for reading my post and I hope you enjoyed my late night tired ramble. I have an interesting post coming up about St.Padre Pios actual Glove that he wore and how it made its way to our home. I hope to find some time to write about that soon.