We adore you O Christ and we praise you, for by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world!
Brothers and sisters, as we listened to the Passion of our Lord according to the gospel of John, we might have missed it. We might have missed two simple and beautiful words. Right before Jesus died, right before Jesus breathed his last, He said; “I thirst,” two simple words - "I thirst."
If we had been at the scene of the crucifixion, we would have been mistaken if we thought these words only referred to a physical thirst - that his mouth was dry from enduring long hours of a trial, scourging, walking the long road to Mount Calvary while carrying a heavy cross, from being under the sun almost all day, and from enduring the pain of hanging on the cross for three hours. We would be mistaken if we think that these words simply meant that Jesus needed water.
"I thirst," Jesus says. These are not words from the past but living words that resonate from the cross of Christ, spoken here and now to you and to me, to our hearts! Jesus is thirsting for us. Until we begin to understand these two simple words, we will not know who He desires to be for us. We could spend our whole lives asking our Lord to show us what He means by, “I thirst," but when we realize that Jesus is thirsting for us - for our time, for our love, for our commitment, for our fidelity, for our life - then we will know how we can quench his thirst.
When I was in the Holy Land years ago, these words of Jesus - "I thirst" - echoed deep and hard into my inner being.
Today is a day to wonder at the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Today is a day to marvel at the mercy of God on the cross. Today is a day to pray about the thirst of Jesus Christ. Today is that day when we can climb onto the cross of Christ and give him the water of our love.
Mary, our blessed mother, who gave everything for the sake of God's kingdom, understands perfectly how to quench the thirst of our Lord. Let us ask our Blessed Mother to pray for us. She was at the foot of the cross and heard Jesus say, “I thirst.”
Let this be our prayer as we contemplate the Crucified Christ, as we wait for Easter, as we wait for the Resurrection - We adore You O Christ and we praise You, for by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world!