Fifth Word - Page 2


So the hours passed and at last Jesus, who had made known in the words he had already spoken, his care for his enemies, for the penitent, for his Mother and friend, and for his Father, now thought of himself.

The soldiers had finished their midday meal and one of them, who had been refreshing himself with the light acid wine of the country, had some left over.  “I thirst” (John 19:28) came the words, and at once that unknown soldier, moved with compassion, ran and filled a sponge with the wine and raised it to the parched lips of the Crucified.

How close does this admission of his human need bring our Lord and our God to us!  In becoming Man he identified himself with suffering humanity and became a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  And now those two words, “I thirst” seem to sum up his human sufferings.

He knew what it was to be footsore and weary, hungry and thirsty, deserted and denied, betrayed and rejected, and when the severest trial of all came upon him, he would not obstinately stick it out in stoic silence.  Instead he uttered those two words which tell us all we want to know of his sympathy and understanding, and of sorrow and suffering willingly shared for our sakes.

So, in the poet’s words,

“Thou wilt feel all, that Thou mayest pity all;
And rather wouldst Thou wrestle with strong pain,
Than overcloud Thy soul,
So clear in agony….” (2)