Holy Week: I Thirst for You
Mar 30, 2010 by Howard Baker | 0 Comments
Remembering the words of Jesus from the cross, “I thirst.”
I Thirst for You
I am the vessel.
The draught is God's.
And God is the thirsty one.
- Dag Hammarskjöld
I know you through and through—I know everything about you. The very hairs of your head I have numbered. Nothing in your life is unimportant to me, I have followed you through the years, and I have always loved you—even in your wanderings.
I know every one of your problems. I know your need and your worries. And yes, I know all your sins. But I tell you again that I love you—not for what you have or haven't done—I love you for you, for the beauty and dignity my Father gave you by creating you in his own image.
It is a dignity you have often forgotten, a beauty you have tarnished by sin. But I love you as you are, and I have shed my blood to win you back. If you only ask me with faith, my grace will touch all that needs changing in your life; and I will give you the strength to free yourself from sin and all its destructive power.
I know what is in your heart—I know your loneliness and all your hurts—the rejections, the judgments, the humiliations. I carried it all before you. And I carried it all for you, so you might share my strength and victory. I know especially your need for love—how you are thirsting to be loved and cherished. But how often have you thirsted in vain, by seeking that love selfishly, striving to fill the emptiness inside you with passing pleasures—with even greater emptiness of sin. Do you thirst for love? "Come to me all you who thirst" (John 7:37). I will satisfy you and fill you. Do you thirst to be cherished? I cherish you more than you can imagine to the point of dying on a cross for you.
I thirst for you. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe my love for you: I thirst for you. I thirst to love and to be loved by you—that is how precious you are to me. I thirst for you. Come to me, and fill your heart and heal your wounds.
If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all. For me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you. I thirst for you. Open to me, come to me, thirst for me, give me your life - and I will prove to you how important you are to my heart.
No matter how far you may wander, no matter how often you forget me, no matter how many crosses you may bear in this life, there is one thing I want you to remember always, one thing that will never change: I thirst for you—just as you are. You don't need to change to believe in my love, for it will be your belief in my love that will change you. You forget me, and yet I am seeking you every moment of the day - standing at the door of your heart, and knocking.
Do you find this hard to believe? Then look at the cross, look at my heart that was pierced for you. Have you not understood my cross? Then listen again to the words I spoke there—for they tell you clearly why I endured all this for you: I thirst (John 19:28). Yes, I thirst for you—as the rest of the Psalm verse which I was praying says of me: "I looked for love, and I found none" (Psalm 69:20).
All your life I have been looking for your love—I have never stopped seeking to love and be loved by you. You have tried many other things in your search for happiness; why not try opening your heart to me, right now, more than you ever have before.
Whenever you do open the door of your heart, whenever you come close enough, you will hear me say to you again and again, not in mere human words but in spirit: "No matter what you have done, I love you for your own sake."
Come to me with your misery and your sins, with your trouble and needs, and with all your longing to be loved. I stand at the door of your heart and knock. Open to me, for I thirst for you.
Mother Teresa, “I Thirst for You,” from The Living Spirit: Prayers and Readings, by Margaret Hebblethwaite. Copyright © 2000 by Margaret Hebblethwaite. Reprinted by permission of Sheed and Ward, an Apostolate of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, 7373 S. Lovers Lane Rd., Franklin Wisconsin, 53132.