This is the shortest of the seven cries.Although it stands in our language as two words, in the original it is one.At the moment when Our Saviourresumes His sermon, it is not a curse upon those who crucify Him, not a word of reproach to the timid disciples at the border of the crows, not a cry of scorn to the Roman soldiers, not a word of hope to Magdalen, not a word of love to John, not a word of farewell to his beloved Mother.it is not even to God at this moment! Out from the depths of the Sacred Heart there wells through parched lips one awful word: “I thirst!”
He, the God-Man, Who threw the stars in their orbits and spheres into space, Who “swung the earth a trinket at his wrist,” from Whose fingertips tumbled planets and worlds, Who might have said, “The sea is Mine and with it the streams in a thousand valleys and cataracts in a thousand hills,” noW asks man — man, a piece of His own handiwork — to help Him. He asks a man for a drink! Not a drink of earthly water, that is not what He meant, but a drink of love. “I thirst” — for love!
The last word was a revelation of the sufferings of a man without God; this word was a revelation of the sufferings of God without a man. The Creator cannot live without the creature, the Shepherd without the sheep, the thirst of Christ’s love without the soul-water of Christians.
But what has He done to be entitled to my love? How much has God loved me? Oh, if I would know how much God has loved me, then let me sound the depths of meaning of that word “love”, a word so often used and so little understood, Love, first of all, means to give and God has given His power to nothingness, His light to darkness, His order to chaos, and this is Creation. Love means to tell secrets to the one loved, and God has told in the Scriptures the secrets of His Nature and His high hopes for fallen humanity, and this is Revelation. Love means also to suffer for the one loved, that is why we speak of arrows and darts of love — something that wounds — and God is now suffering for us on the Tree of the Cross, for “greater love than this no man has, than to lay down his life for his friend.” Love means also to become one with the one loved, not only in the unity of flesh but in the unity of spirit, and God has so loved us as to institute the Eucharist, that we may abide in Him and He in us in the ineffable unity of the Bread of Life. Love wishes also to be eternally united with the one loved, and God has so loved us that He has promised us His Father’s mansions, where a peace and a joy reign which the world cannot give and time cannot take away, and this is Heaven.
Certainly, love has exhausted itself. There is nothing more than Christ could do for His vineyard than He has done.Having poured forth all the waters of His everlasting Love on our poor parched hearts, it is no wonder that He thirsts for love.If Love is reciprocal then certainly He has a right to our love.Why do we not respond? Why do we let the divine Heart die of thirst for human hearts?
This Article is taken from the book The Seven Last Words.