Mother Teresa gives some clear insight into the phrase “I am thirsty” that Jesus spoke from the cross in John 19:28. What was Jesus thirsty for?
Thirst is that physical characteristic that each of have when our bodies cry out for fluids, especially water. Being thirsty can be a painful reminder that we are missing something. We have to replenish our intake of water to survive. Without water we die.
According to Mother Teresa, Jesus was thirsty for us. Jesus’ pain in being thirsty is a desire for us to be a part of Him.
Jesus wants me to tell you again…how much is the love He has for each of you—beyond all what you can imagine…Not only does He love you, even more He longs for you. He misses you when you don’t come close. He thirsts for you. He love you always, even when you don’t feel worthy…
For me it is so clear—everything in Missionaries of Charity (MC) exists only to satiate Jesus. His words on the wall of every MC chapel, they are not from [the] past only, but alive here and now, spoken to you. Do you believe it?...Why doe Jesus “I thirst”? What does it mean? Something so hard to explain in words—…“I thirst”? is something much deeper than just Jesus saying “I love you.” Until you know deep inside that Jesus thirsts for you—you can’t begin to know who He wants to be for you. Or who He wants you to be for Him.
Jesus died on the cross and experienced the desperate needs of the poor everywhere. Jesus died alone. Jesus died feeling hated. Jesus died broken in spirit and in body. Jesus died thirsty. Not a thirst for water but a thirst for love, charity and sacrifice. Mother Teresa and the Sisters lived this out in their four vows of Absolute Poverty, Chastity, Obedience and Charity for the poor seeking to quench the thirst of Jesus.