Franciscan-Clarian Spirituality Committee The Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross
“I thirst” (Jn 19:28)
Judith Terrameo, OSF
Franciscan Sisters of Allegany
“Knowing that all was now finished,” Jesus said, “I thirst.” (Jn 19:28)
“The cross-induced thirst of Jesus,” according to F. Krummacher, was triggered “by the blood vessels in His sacred body drying up, causing a dreadful fever to rage through His body, forcing His tongue to cleave to His jaws. His lips burning.”1 There is no greater suffering than the voracious thirst which Jesus felt in that moment. WHAT LOVE!
How beautiful, that Jesus would endure such suffering for us and our sins! It was this LOVE that touched the hearts of St. Francis and St. Clare ̶ which infused their thirst for Christ Crucified, and gave direction to how they walked in the footprints of Jesus.
Sadly, however, in our world today we do not recognize this deep yearning within us as a thirst for God. Working with men and woman struggling with addictions to drugs and/or alcohol, I often tell them that there is a space within our souls/hearts that is made for God alone, but we try to fill that space with other things ̶ drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, work, etc., but it only deepens the restlessness we feel within. If our thirst could be filled with a personal relationship with God, we would not need these other things in our lives. Instead, we would be filled with a profound love for God which alone can fill us with the deep peace for which we yearn. This alone will suffice!
As we consider this time of Lenten journey, may we endeavor to fill the deep yearning within our own souls with single-minded attention for Jesus and walk in his footprints.
Jesus, I thirst for you. May this thirst be filled with your deep love for me.
May I give time each day to develop my relationship with you that I may
know your peace in my life each day. Amen.
1 F.W. Krummacher, The Suffering Savior, 389