The Thirst of Jesus
Encounter the thirst of Jesus with Mother Teresa
and through her intercession
"Jesus is God, therefore His love,
His Thirst, is infinite.
He the creator of the universe,
asked for the love of His creatures. He thirst for our love."
(Saint Teresa of Calcutta)
"The ‘thirst’ of the crucified Jesus became Mother Teresa’s own thirst and the inspiration of her path of holiness." (John Paul II 2003.10.19.)
On September 5th we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s going home to God. Her funeral had brought together people from all levels of society and from all parts of the world; she had crossed the frontiers of religious and ethnic differences. All were drawn by the light of love that her very life and actions radiated. “Traveling tirelessly the streets of the entire world, Mother Teresa has truly marked the history of our century.” (John Paul II 1997.09.06)
But what was the driving force that underlined all her works, what was her secret? At her beatification Pope John Paul II stated: The cry of Jesus on the Cross, "I thirst" (Jn 19: 28), expressing the depth of God's longing for man, penetrated Mother Teresa's soul and found fertile soil in her heart. Satiating Jesus' thirst for love and for souls in union with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, had become the sole aim of Mother Teresa's existence and the inner force that drew her out of herself and made her "run in haste" across the globe to labor for the salvation and the sanctification of the poorest of the poor. “In the countenance of the afflicted, she recognized that of Jesus, who from the height of the Cross cries, “I thirst”. And with generous dedication she heeded this cry from the lips and from the heart of the dying, of the abandoned little ones, of the men and women crushed from the weight of suffering and of solitude.”… (John Paul II in his Homily at the Beatification Mass) In these few lines we find the key to the dynamism of her relationship with Jesus: The cry of Jesus on the Cross, “I thirst,” and her desire to satiate His thirst.
This September 10th will be the 71th anniversary of Saint Mother Teresa’s mystical encounter with Jesus, later called “Inspiration day” within the religious family she founded. On September 10, 1946 Mother Teresa, then a Loreto nun, was on the train to Darjeeling for her annual retreat. In a profound way she experienced Jesus’ thirst for love and for souls, and heard the Lord calling her to leave the Loreto order and dedicate her life to the service of the poorest of the poor. Over the next ten months, through interior visions and locutions, Jesus revealed to her His pain at the neglect of the poor and at their ignorance of Him. Our Lord urged her: “Come be my light.” He was calling her to “radiate His love on souls.”
Let this coming months, in preparation for the anniversary of Saint Mother Teresa’s inspiration, be an occasion for each one of us to encounter the thirst of Jesus Crucified in the depths of our own hearts. May we, with St. John, “come to know and to believe in God’s love for us,” (1 Jn 4:16) so that we may live according to this faith in God’s infinite and unchanging love, a love which exists independently of our feelings. “Faith, which sees the love of God revealed in the pierced heart of Jesus on the Cross, gives rise to love. Love is the light – and in the end, the only light – that can always illuminate a world grown dim and gives us the courage needed to keep living and working. Love is possible, and we are able to practice it because we are created in the image of God. To experience love and in this way to cause the light of God to enter into the world …” (Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est January 25, 2006 Pope Benedict XVI) – this is the invitation Saint Mother Teresa extends to us.
With the meditations that follow we invite you to enter more deeply into the mystery of Jesus’ thirst and to satiate that thirst according to the example of Mother Teresa, thus illuminating the world with His love. Through Saint Mother Teresa’s intercession, may you answer Jesus’ cry from the Cross, His cry of thirst for YOU, His cry of thirst for the love of every human being.