Category Archives: Spirituality
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
Humans do not live by bread alone
The most fundamental of human needs are for oxygen, water, food, sleep and shelter. Deprive a person of oxygen for a few seconds and they can think of nothing else. Deprive a human of drink for a day, and, throat parched, lips and tongue swollen and dry; every cell within craves water. Until the need is met, nothing else matters.
Tempted in the wilderness, and later nailed to a Roman gibbet, Jesus was thirsty. Human, he certainly thirsted for water.
But, Jesus has an even deeper hunger, an even deeper thirst, something that drives and consumes Him even beyond the need for water or oxygen.
His thirst is not for water. His hunger is not for air.
The deepest passion, longing, thirst, hunger of His being is for every human to experientially know God’s unconditional love.
If we love Him, how can we look at Him in His thirst and not bring Him a drink?
My ministry, my calling, my vocation, is to satiate Jesus’ thirst by bringing God’s love to women and men – in my particular case, by sharing the knowledge of new life in Christ in all its breadth, depth and strength.
It is why I live.
What is it for you? How has God called you to assuage the thirst of Jesus?
At the Last Supper, Jesus took the Passover bread, broke the bread, blessed the bread, and gave the bread to his followers.
Then, Jesus becomes the Eucharistic meal.
He was taken, arrested.
He was broken on the cross.
He was blessed at the resurrection.
At Pentecost, he was given for the life of the world.
As one of Jesus’ followers, I become the Eucharistic meal.
I was taken. Captured by divine love.
I am being broken of selfish ambition.
I am blessed with the power of resurrection life.
I am given in service to those in need.
It seems absurd to imagine a broken, sinful person like me, so in need of continuous mercy, comforting Jesus, my Master, Lord of the universe, creator, redeemer, sustainer, source of all life, truth, and love.
Yet, perhaps, just as I can be with another person in their pain and sorrow, may I also be with, sit with, be in empathetic presence with Jesus in his sorrow over human cruelty and brokenness? And, does that not perhaps comfort his heart in some small way?
Did he not find some bit of comfort in the women who wept along the Via Dolorosa ? In his mother’s face and John’s presence at the cross? In the women coming to anoint his body both before and after his death? In Mary Magdalene‘s devotion, turning her back on angels, and seeking only him?
How can I add to Christ’s comfort today?
To see sin, not as simply rebellion, or coming from a horrible, worthless person, but more Christianly as a self-inflicted wound, is to see it more clearly. Sin wounds me. Sin wounds others. Sin wounds creation. God is a loving Father who doesn’t want to see His children hurt themselves or others. Nor does He approve when they burn the house down. It’s not a matter of divine anger. It’s a matter of divine love.
I’ve often wondered about David’s statement in Psalm 51 when he says that he has sinned against God and God only and done this evil. I’m pretty sure Uriah would disagree with that.
And, along the same lines, I have wondered about Paul’s declaration in 1 Timothy 1:15 that he is the chief of sinners. How did he know he was the worst? Was he the worst of all time or just the worst so far? And, really, the worst? Worse than Caesar Nero and Attila the Hun (not to mention Hitler)?
It recently struck me that these statements are not hyperbole, expressions of a false humility, or evidence of very low self-esteem.
Both of those statements can only be honestly made by someone who is profoundly humble and completely nonjudgmental. The nonjudgmental person doesn’t see anyone else’s sin, only his/her own. She sees actions that hurt others and condemns injustice, but never judges the motives and hearts of those who commit the actions. She sees only the image of God in others.