[A gracious thank you to Father Nathan, serving as a Monk at the Community of Saint John, for taking the time to share with us what Jesus is teaching him during this season of Lent]
And Jesus said, "I thirst."
The thirst of Jesus as recorded here surely refers to the thirst he suffered as one crucified. After all, many experts have written on the deep and insatiable thirst a crucified man would undergo.
However, since Christ did nothing in vain, and the Holy Spirit willed this particular cry of thirst to be written, "For our salvation," (Jn. 20:31), perhaps we need to listen to his thirst from a deeper perspective.
The thirst of Christ on the Cross is prefigured by the other place where he refers to his thirst -- John 4. In his dialogue with the Samaritan woman, Jesus' thirst, revealed to the Samaritan, is actually a thirst for her Faith, more than for water.
Jesus thirsts for an opening, the opening of her heart to Him and His salvation, more than for physical water. Indeed, the gift He comes to bring satisfies for a lifetime, whereas the water she comes to draw will leave her thirsty again.
When he speaks, "I thirst," again, this time from the Cross. We may legitimately ask, "For what do you thirst, Jesus?" What will He answer us? What could He possibly desire upon the Cross more than our salvation, our love, our adoration for His Father?
To respond to Jesus' thirst means to give Jesus to drink from our own hearts, by offering ourselves as "living sacrifices" (Rom. 12) to God under the upward motion of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, to offer God the "new wine" (Jn. 2) of an adoration "in spirit and in truth" (Jn. 4) by the members of His body, fully inflamed by the love of the heart of the Son for the Father (Jn 15), is the glory of the Son.
May we slake His thirst this Lent and always. Let us pray!