After this, aware everything was now finished in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said I thirst. There are many phrases that are contained in the different accounts of the passion,
but perhaps this one stands out because it really reflects what Jesus was intent upon.
It’s a phrase that became part of the writings in her daily in her daily diary of the sainted Mother Teresa.
She often wrote that the feeling that she had was a thirst.
She identified very, very closely with these words of Jesus from the cross.
And she did that because it was her intent that she hungered.
She thirsty for that relationship with God.
A relationship that she felt somewhat abandoned, somewhat mystically, not available to her.
And yet she was a woman of great, great faith.
I think in capturing that phrase, she captured what not only was the desire of Jesus from the cross,but more importantly, out of Jesus’s mouth came the words of the father.
You might recall from the Book of Genesis, the very earliest of recording that we have of the story of creation.
And there is a very beautiful scene in there. It takes place in the afternoon.
It is after Adam and Eve have eaten of the forbidden fruit.
And the scripture says in the cool of the afternoon, in the cool breeze of the afternoon.
God would come each day to walk with his creatures.
For that relationship with that, with which he had made that which he had created, not in his own image and likeness, he thirsted for it.
And yet the scripture says when God came on that fateful afternoon, Adam and Eve were hidden.
And when God called out to them. Inviting them to come and walk with him.
They said no. What, we’re naked. We can’t be with you.
What they meant by that was they were merely discovered themselves as frail creatures.
They felt that as frail creatures, how could they possibly walk with God. But the nature of God was such and is such.
That God can best be defined for all of the phrases that we’ve come up with over the course of human history.
The most appropriate way of defining God was expressed by Pope Emeritus Benedict in his first encyclical.
God is love. And to be a lover is to be one who seeks relationship with the beloved, one who seeks companionship, one who seeks closeness, or as Pope Francis so frequently says, one who seeks solidarity.
And so when Jesus utters those words from the cross, “I thirst”.
What he is basically saying is that through me, by this great action of love the father is expressing, “How deep is his thirst to have a oneness with you?”
In one of the other accounts of the Passion it is recorded that when Jesus utters the words, it is finished. The curtain in the sanctuary was torn in two.
From top to bottom that curtain.
That from the earliest of days indicated the separation, the separation caused by the humans.
Because they chose not to be in friendship with God.
And so the curtain was there symbolizing the separation.
But again, the words ice first captured in Jesus, saying it is finished, it is consummated.
The curtain is torn in two because I, representing all of you for all time, I the human.
We’ll have within me. The divinity.
I’ve brought you together. By the power of the Spirit, Jesus acting in the most concrete expression of the father’s love.
Brings us back. One. With God in God’s holiness.
That is the mystery. That is the mystery of the cross that God chose through Jesus, by the power of the Spirit, through this very dramatic action to overcome all of the evils and they’re all there, the evils of jealousy, the evils of violence, the evils of belittlement, the evils of lying.
They’re all there in the story. It is so comprehensive.
And yet by the Cross. By the symbol of love, God shatters all of it.
And God, through the mouth of Jesus says, here, I thirst to have you with me.
I hunger for your presence. Accept my gift.
Accept my gift and live in it.
For in living in it, you will find the truth.
The truth that will lead you to eternity.
And so as we come together on this day, when we remember those and that most momentous event, we pray.
We pray that we thirst also.
We thirst to live forever in God’s love.
One with another. As the true members of God’s family.