Article: Husband and Dad | Jiji Kuruvilla, Canada
During Jesus’ ministry on Earth, various individuals generously gave Him many things. The inn manager offered his manger as a resting place for the new-born Christ child. The Magi, or wise men, presented Him with valuable gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh brought from far-off lands. Mary Magdalene anointed Jesus with expensive perfume, evoking wonder and admiration from all those present. A young boy offered his modest supply of bread and fish, which Jesus miraculously multiplied to feed a multitude of people. An unknown benefactor lent Jesus his donkey to ride into Jerusalem. A hospitable homeowner furnished an upper room for Jesus to share a final meal with His disciples. Crowds of people laid their clothing and palm leaves on the ground, creating a makeshift carpet of honour for the King of Kings as He entered the city.
All of these acts of generosity were given willingly and with a direct connection to Jesus. Simeon the Cyrene, however, stands apart from this list of known donors. He had no gold, manger, palm leaves, perfume, donkey, or upper room to offer. He was simply a working man, a father, and a husband caught up in the commotion of the crowd. Pressed into service by Roman soldiers to carry the symbol of execution, Simon accepted this duty without knowing what lay ahead of him. In return for his service, Simon received no miracle or accolades, but the droplets of blood on his back and cloak.
Although history does not record the whereabouts of all those who gave to Jesus during His ministry, the sons of Simon the Cyrene, Rufus, and Alexander were later mentioned in the Bible as prominent members of the early Christian community. This serves as a testament to the impact of even the most unexpected and seemingly insignificant act of service or sacrifice when done in obedience to God’s will.
We may be inspired by the example of Simon as a dad and husband. May all that we do and offer be directly linked to the cross, leaving a legacy that our children and those who come after us can follow. When our time on earth is done, and our children sift through the memories and clues we leave behind, may they find a path that leads them to where they need to be. May the footprints we leave inspire them to believe and live a life that is faithful and obedient. Our devotion to living a life of faith may light the way for those who come behind us, so they too can find their path and follow in our footsteps of faithfulness.