In between hanging up Travis' work shirts, feeding the kids an after-school snack, and dinner prep I want to squeeze in a note to share something that struck me last week while reading the Gospel of Mark.
The passage was Mark 15:21. They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.
That's it. One sentence in one little section in the larger story of Christ's passion. But for the first time ever I noticed that Alexander and Rufus are named in a way that seems, at least to me, that the readers of Mark's Gospel would know who they are. "Alexander and Rufus - you know the brothers who are a part of our congregation? It was their dad - their dad! - who helped Jesus carry His cross!" And then all the people hearing the Gospel proclaimed would look at Alexander and Rufus and say, "Wow. I didn't know. Our Rufus and Alexander!"
This realization struck my mother's heart deep and instantly I said, "Simon of Cyrene, pray for me. Pray for me to share the Gospel with my kids. Be the patron of my parenthood. Help me to share the story of my personal encounter with Christ to my children so that their lives will be changed. Pray that I will lead my children so they have their own encounters with Jesus. Pray that our home and their hearts will be filled with the grace that they will grow up knowing, believing, and loving God as your own sons did."
That's it. That's all I've got. But if you, like me, are looking for every help Heaven can offer as you raise your kids to love God then maybe this will speak to your heart, too.
St. Simon of Cyrene, pray for us.+