If you Are

If you are Simon of Cyrene, take up the cross and follow.

If you are crucified with him as a robber, have the honesty to acknowledge God.  If Jesus was numbered among the transgressors because of you and your sin, you must become righteous through him.  Adore him  who hung upon the cross cross through your fault; and while he is hanging thee, draw some advantage even from your own wickedness; buy salvation by his death, enter paradise with Jesus and learn what is the extent of your deprivation.

If you are Joseph of Arimathea, ask the executioner for the body; make your own expiation of the world.

If you are Nicodemus, the man who served God by night, prepare him for burial with perfumes.

If you are one or other Mary, or Salome or Joanna, shed tears in the early morning.  Be the first to see the stone removed, and perhaps the angels too, and even Jesus himself.

Gregory of Nazianzus, Fourth century

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