As Jesus hung on the cross on Good Friday, he exclaimed “I thirst.” (John 19:28) After his forty days in the desert, he was hungry. (Mark 4:2). The hunger and thirst of Jesus mark the beginning and the end of our Lenten journey. I am sure he was hungry and thirsty for food and drink, but I also suspect he was hungry and thirsty for something deeper. Hunger and thirst are expressions of desire. What does Jesus desire? For what is he hungry and thirsty? Might it be me?
During our Lenten observance some of us will fast and abstain from certain foods and drinks. We do this not only to be in solidarity with all those who hunger and thirst for food and drink, but also to get in touch with the deep down desire that lives in us. Jesus was hungry and thirsty to be in a relationship with us; might we be hungry and thirsty to be in a relationship with him, to know him, to follow him, to walk with him? What do you desire, deep down? For what are you hungry and thirsty? Hunger and thirst come from a recognition of our need for sustenance, our need for food for the journey. Jesus is life-giving water and the bread of life!
On Palm Sunday, April 5, we will have a musical presentation on the Passion of Jesus, led by Catholic singer Tajci. Her presentation in entitled “I thirst.” We hope that presentation will not only be enjoyable, but a spiritual experience as well.
As you pray, fast, and abstain this Lent, perhaps you can think and pray about those deep hunger, thirsts, and desires that move in us. And then, come to the table of the Lord!