Thirst: Day 42 of Lent
28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.
Only John records this saying. Parallel versions about the wine are recorded in Matthew 27:48 and Mark 15:35-36.
so many hours’ suffering
and this the only glimpse you give us of the reality of the physical pain.
And we cannot escape the feeling you are moistening your lips for what comes next!
John and many others
see sign and symbol of so much more:
of your many associations with water,
and a sign of all our thirsting, all our needs and all our good desires, our longing for you – and your longing for us.
Most simply, you are thirsty near the end and ask your enemies’ compassion; and help is given from that unlikely quarter.
We pray for all who are really thirsty, for all who thirst for righteousness, for all who long for justice and peace.
And because we all need help from others, give us the humility we need to accept it gratefully,
-even from the most unexpected people.
And make us ready, like that soldier, to respond to any whispered call for help.