a) Reflection on God’s Word:
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said: ‘I thirst!’ A vessel full of sour wine was standing there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth.” (Jn 19:28-29)
Jesus is hanging on the cross. He thirsts. Cruel flogging has lacerated His holy body and He has lost a lot of blood. The whip consisted of three braided leather thongs with metal balls. The flogging first caused deep contusions, then the whips cut through the skin, and as the blows continued, they cut deeper and deeper tearing out muscles even to the bones. Two executioners were scourging Jesus with full force. The heavy whip was brought down across the back, arms and legs, first on the back of Jesus’ body but then also on its front. The soldiers spared no part of the body, not even head and face. The skin of the back was hanging in long ribbons, and the entire area was an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When Jesus was near death, the flogging was finally stopped. The half-dead Jesus was then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood. Sudden copious loss of blood caused rapid heart rate, fainting and an extremely strong thirst. The immense pain caused by the open wounds and the strong thirst tormented the Lord Jesus even during His way of the cross. He feels an even more burning thirst on the cross now. His lips are dry, chapped, His tongue has stick to jaws.
However, far greater than the physical thirst was the inner thirst. Jesus perceives how the sin is accomplishing destruction, blunting millions of souls and leading them to spiritual apathy and laziness so that they neglect their eternal salvation. Jesus’ spiritual thirst is expressed in the pleads of the Our Father: “Father, hallowed be Your name! Your kingdom come!”
Jesus, You now thirst in me and I thirst along with You after my liberation from a concrete form of slavery of my corrupted nature.
All that has been given to us through baptism, i.e. through death and resurrection in Christ, must be actualized through faith. What has so far been natural for us was a constant rebellion against God and people. However, I have to live by faith, every day to give thanks for everything, even if I do not understand it, and to give all my problems to God with confidence. But I do not do so. I seek help somewhere else (with healers, diviners). And it is a great sin. I do not love God with all my heart. If I did love Him, I would not have time or space for sin. So because my soul is not filled with true love for Jesus, I am enslaved by lusts and pride! Lord Jesus, I thirst, I call not only with my voice but with all my heart: “Hallowed be Your name in my soul! Your kingdom come into my heart!”
b) Recitation of God’s Word (5 min): I realize Jesus’ excruciating pain during the cruel flogging as well as His thirst caused by the loss of blood. We all repeat: “That the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said: ‘I thirst!’” (Jn 19:28).
c) Prayer according to God’s Word (5 min): We all say together: “Father”, and one of us adds: “Hallowed be Your name in my soul!”
d) Prayer of the heart (5 min): We call: “Aaaa…baa”. Now, along with Jesus, I thirst: “Your kingdom come into my heart!”