A Lenten Reflection on Accompaniment
As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. Luke 23:26
This Holy Week, we reflect on the gift of accompaniment. We can’t take away another person’s suffering, but for a period of the time, we can carry that person’s cross and accompany them in their suffering. We can embody the presence and love of God as we walk with a person who is suffering.
In the video below, Fr. Dustin Feddon (Joseph House) and Joe Cotton (Archdiocese of Seattle), lead a dialogue about deepening a spirituality of accompaniment while ministering to those who are affected by incarceration. We invite you to watch this moving video and reflect on the questions below.
Questions for Reflection
Fr. Dustin shared, “In my own ministry in re-entry, my ministry in the prisons, I feel as though I’ve come to learn far more about justice, my community, my city, my state, than I ever learned in graduate school, than I ever learned in seminary, than I’ve ever learned reading any book. And, to me, that is the gift of accompaniment.” How has accompanying people affected by incarceration or detention been a gift in your life?
Joe Cotton shared a poignant and beautiful reflection on the role of Simon of Cyrene at Jesus’ crucifixion. What came to mind when you heard that story? Did you learn something new about the call of accompaniment?
How has your spirituality shaped your ministry? How has your ministry shaped your spirituality?
Additional Resources for Reflection
Stations of the Cross:
– Prayer Service & Stations of the Cross by the Knights of Malta: “Walking with Jesus on the Way to Salvation”
– Stations of the Cross by the USCCB: “Overcoming Racism”
The team at CPMC wishes you reflection, discernment, and openness to God’s direction for you this Lenten season. If we can assist you in answering the call to become a prison minister or share resources to support your ministry, please reach out to us at: [email protected].