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Crucifix, Coricancha Peru: "I Thirst"

Crucifix, Coricancha Peru: "I Thirst" by Lewis Williams, OFS

Artist Narrative:

Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s mission was based on Christ’s words from the cross: “I THIRST.” They are located in every chapel of The Missionaries of Charity around the world; to satiate Christ’s thirst in our neighbor but also His thirst for souls. Hear him from the cross saying he thirsts for you.

Jesus stands at your door and knocks, even when you aren’t listening but at the smallest response; he enters. He comes for you with every bit of the love He received from his Father, longing to bind your wounds, lift you up and light your darkness; transform you and still your soul. He knows all your problems, wanderings and sins, but loves you still for the beauty and dignity His Father gave you by creating you in His image. Even when you tarnish that image, remember and be assured: He gave His blood to win you back.

He knows your need for love, how you are thirsting to be cherished. “Come to Me all you who thirst…” he tells you and will fill you. He thirsts for YOU; to love you and to be loved by you. In healing he will make you a new creation, offer His constant mercy and give you His peace. There is no one any more important in the whole world than YOU.

Remember you are a pilgrim in this world, on a journey home. Sin can never satisfy you. All you seek outside Christ has left you empty. When you give Him your sins, you give Him the joy of being YOUR Savior. Nothing changes the fact that He thirsts for you, just as you are. You don’t need to change: Your belief in His love will change YOU. Look at His cross… His heart was pierced for you and from the cross spoke the words, ”I THIRST.” All your life He has been looking for your love… you for your own sake. Open and let Him in.

—Excerpts from a Saint Teresa of Calcutta prayer - Missionaries of Charity Fathers

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After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.”

(Jn 19:28)

When we hear Jesus' utter the words, "I thirst", before giving up his life on the cross, we automatically assume He was speaking of wanting something to drink. While there is truth in this meaning, this last cry of our Lord means so much more.

​As Jesus utters these last words, the thirst of which He speaks is a thirst which is consuming His life's blood. It is the very reason and core for His coming to the world and dying for our sins. It is a deep, spiritual thirst: the thirst for the souls of all mankind. Jesus thirsts for the eternal salvation of all people everywhere and it is through his selfless sacrifice that He sought to reconcile all of humanity to the love of God. ​He knows, in this His last moment, that there will be souls who will be eternally lost regardless of His life offering, and the agony and pain this thought brings far exceeds the physical pain of his crucifixion. ​

​Jesus thirsts for us. Do we thirst to know the God who loves us so much?​