Thirst for Souls

March 21 Good Friday

Readings: Is 52:13-53:12; Heb 4:14-16, 5:7-9; Jn 18:1-19:42

Jesus said, "I thirst." Jn 19:28

Both Blessed Mother Teresa and St. Faustina heard the cry of Jesus on the Cross: "I thirst." Jesus asked both of them to help satisfy His thirst for souls.

In his tribute to Mother Teresa on the occasion of her death, Pope John Paul II described this key to Mother Teresa's mission and inspiration: "Her mission began every day, before dawn, in the presence of the Eucharist," the Holy Father said. "In the silence of contemplation, Mother Teresa of Calcutta heard the echo of Jesus' cry on the Cross: 'I thirst.' This cry received in the depths of her heart, spurred her to seek out Jesus in the poor, the abandoned, and the dying on the streets of Calcutta and to all the ends of the earth."

In this regard, Mother Teresa experienced a specific moment of life-changing grace. On the night of Sept. 10, 1946, while riding on a train to a mountain town in India to recover from suspected tuberculosis, she received her "vocation within a vocation," a calling to serve Christ among the poorest of the poor. At various times, she referred to this moment of grace with the words of the dying Jesus, "I thirst," as the thirst of Jesus for souls.

In St. Faustina's life, there is a startling parallel to Mother Teresa's moment of grace. During Holy Week in 1937, Sr. Faustina had a vision of the crucified Lord and heard the words of Jesus, "I thirst."

She writes in her Diary, "During Holy Mass, I saw the Lord Jesus nailed upon the Cross amidst great torments. A soft moan issued from His Heart. After some time, He said: I thirst. I thirst for the salvation of souls. Help Me, My daughter, to save souls. Join your suffering to My Passion and offer them to the heavenly Father for sinners (Diary of St., Faustina, 1032).

O Crucified Savior, You did not just thirst for water on the Cross. You thirsted with Your whole being for the salvation of souls. Help me to do likewise. Amen.

Ps 69:21
1 Cor 4:11
Heb 9:19-22

616-7, 1708

Diary of St. Faustina
1034, 1058

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