Scripture Reading: John 19:28
It is close to the end of Jesus’ human life. He sensed it. He had hung on the Cross for six hours. It had become hard for Jesus to even get a breath. Hung from His arms, He must pull Himself up each time He wants to breathe. His shoulders ached, His mouth was parched. He was exhausted. At the climax of the Passion under the burning midday sun, stretched out on the Cross, Jesus called out: “I thirst”. According to Fr. Thomas Rosica, “The theme of thirsting appears throughout the Scriptures, and in a very particular way early on in John’s Gospel during Jesus’ powerful encounter at high noon with the woman of Samaria. In that provocative scene, Jesus’ thirst was not so much for water, but for the encounter with a parched soul. Jesus needed to encounter the Samaritan woman in order to open her heart.”
Jesus also thirsts in a spiritual sense. Fr. Thomas Rosica narrated an encounter he had with St. (Mother) Teresa thus: “Once during Lent in 1988, following mass with the sisters, Mother Teresa met me in the sacristy to thank me for my service to her sisters. I asked her why these words “I THIRST” on the wall of the chapel. At that time, I thought they had been placed there for the liturgical season of Lent. Mother Teresa took my hand and told me quite firmly that those words are found in every convent chapel of her order – taken from Jesus’ words from the Cross in John’s Gospel. I remember her distinctly saying to me: “They serve as a constant reminder of the purpose of the Missionaries of Charity. They remind us what an MC is here for: ‘to quench the thirst of Jesus for souls, for love, for kindness, for compassion, for dedicated love.’”
Child of God, Jesus thirsts for us to speak out when we see the Cross raised up in our sisters and brothers killed, burned alive, throats slit and decapitated by barbarous blades amid cowardly silence. And we remain silent out of political correctness or fear of guilt by association.
Beloved, Jesus thirsts for us to embrace children, women and people, worn out and fearful, who flee from war and violence and who often only find death and many Pontius Pilates who wash their hands of these people.
Friends in Christ, Jesus thirsts for us to unlock the doors of our minds and hearts, especially when we pretend to be filled with knowledge and not with the Spirit; when we have become scholars of death and not of life, who instead of teaching mercy and life, threaten with punishment and death, and who condemn the just.
Brethren, Jesus thirsts for us to be merciful when we are so often judgmental of others and pick up stones to throw at them and crush them without ever recognizing our own sins and faults. Jesus thirsts for us to speak out and take action when we see public officials who try to erase the Christian memory and exclude the gospel and the Cross from public life.
MASS: WHITE Is 61:1-3abcd.6a.8b-9; Ps 89:21-22.25.27. (R.2a); Rev 1:5-8; Accl. Lk 4:18; Lk 4:16-21;EVENING MASS OF THE LORD’S SUPPER Ex 12:1-8.11-14; Ps 116:12-13.15.16bc.17-18. (R.1 Cor10:16); 1 Cor 11:23-26; Accl.Jn 13:34; Jn 13:1-15
1. “Lord, make my life a window for Your light to shine through and a mirror to reflect Your love to all I meet in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
2. “Heavenly Father, Thou hast made me, be pleased to renew me. I am Thy work, complete me; I am Thy harp, tune me; I am Thy child, teach me in the name of Jesus.”
3. Take this prayer by Jack Watts: “Father, help me to serve others with a joyful heart; Never keeping score; Always giving; Never expecting to receive. Help me to give of myself, to give of my talents and of my goods, to give of my time and of my energy, to give of my heart and of my soul. Help me understand the needs of others. Always loving.Always forgiving. Always restoring; never gloating over my defeats. Even when I have been so wrong. Father, keep a condemning spirit far from my heart and further from my lips. Allow me to serve others as You serve, with gentleness, compassion, and tenderness; never diminishing the worth of another, choosing to extend mercy to the brokenhearted; like You have repeatedly shown it to me. Amen.”
Exercise: Pray the “Stations of the Cross” for the care of those suffering.