Friday, September 02, 2011

Wait and Endure
(Holy Week Reflection on the Fifth Word)

Yes, I admit, this is a very late post. Yet the message would always be new be it Good Friday or not. This is my reflection last Good Friday 2011 (April 22, 2011), as part of Wait and Endure, 100% Katolikong Pinoy's Holy Week Special.


Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips.
(Jn 19,28-29)

Whenever I write, I always make sure that a bottle of cold water is here beside me. As I type or write a certain blogpost, be it on my personal blog or on my reflection one, I always reach out for that bottle and drink some liquid. It helps me concentrate deeper on the subject or topic to write, and lessens the chance of my mental drain due to too much thinking.

Whenever I thirst out of concentration, I usually feel dizzy and become impatient at sorts. I can’t imagine finishing a work without a bottle – not even a glass – of water by my side to quench my thirst and make me more focused.

That is how important water is to me; such which is also right for everybody. Water is one important element of life. And every living thing will never live without water to hydrate every living cell, every tissue and organ of animals and plants.

But what if we have lost access to water? We’d experienced it just a few months ago due to water shortage. Every people in the metro took advantage of roving water rations just for us to have clean water for use. We waited and endured day and night for this, until finally the supply came back to normal. This may simply explain the dire need for water. We simply can’t live without it. And when supply is cut, we can't help but shout invectives that reaches the skies: Pu$%^%$ na yan! Bakit nawalan ng tubig!?!

We now look at the Lord Jesus. As he was nailed to the cross, he experienced that thirst, the greatest thirst that a human being had ever experienced. He had lost sleep for the past 24 hours, suffered greatly through the scourging, and carrying the big and heavy cross, amidst the jeers of the people who wanted him cold and dead. Of the many words he could say, he did not mention any vulgar word nor uttered a curse. Instead, he said a set of comforting, and soul-moving words which defined greatly his saving mission.

Among these, are two words: I Thirst. Nauuhaw ako.

He can endure the sufferings, the scourging, the drops of blood, the jeers of the people, the weight of the cross, and the bad words of the people. He can endure it, since he is the Lamb who ‘did not say a word’ amidst the luck that awaits him. He can endure it out of his love and that of the Father.

But he is waiting for something. HE THIRSTS for something. Maybe yes, he thirsts for something to drink (thus the vinegar with gall) to make him go through even just a minute or two.

But beyond this thirst for physical water, he is still thirsting; he is still waiting for somebody.

He waits for us. He thirsts for us. And this thirst had encompassed time and place. It continues up until today. We may have heard many preachings regarding this Last Word of our Lord, but it sadly falls on deaf ears, ears who may think, Naku. Mabait naman ako. Naglilingkod naman ako sa kanya, napatid na ang uhaw niya sigurado. But no! this cry of Jesus continues up until the 21st century.

It is there in the moaning of the poor, in the cry of the suffering, and in the faces of the broken-hearted. These are people whom we may come to know of everyday, without showing our concern for them. It is there in the bad situation of our Mother Earth which we ignore throughout the past decades. It is in our hearts full of confusion because of the different misunderstandings that we undertake.

Jesus thirsts for us; but do we realize that we are also thirsty? We may deny it if we want to, but deep within our hearts we cannot deny that we are also in a deep search. We are looking for something which can satisfy us. We ourselves are thirsty.

Oo, kapatid. Tayo man ay nauuhaw rin! Uhaw rin tayo sa pagmamahal, sa kalinga, sa pag-alala. We look for it in earthly things, we please this need with our desires and wants. But as St. Teresa of Avila says of it, SOLO DIOS BASTA! God alone is enough! There is no need to look in the things of this world. We just need to open ourselves to God, and he will provide and quench ur thirst with the water of life.

So, we may ask ourselves, Do I heed to the call of Jesus? Do I feel his eternal thirst?
Do I realize my own thirst for God?

Jesus’ thirst for us continues. And so does our thirst for him. We should let ourselves be quenched by his saving blood, so that we may also quench his thirst by our selfless service to our brothers and sisters.

It is the last hour on the cross, O Jesus. Your poor head, pierced with thorns, seeks in vain for a resting place. How you suffer from your parched mouth and lips. What pain our salvation has cost you! It is for our souls that you thirst, not alone for water.

We cannot give you a drink, O loving Savior, but did you foresee this hour when you said: "Anyone who gives even a drink of water in my name shall receive his reward … and, whatsoever you do to the least of mine, you do to me …" We can really minister to you, Lord, in those needy people we meet in every walk of life. You accept our effort to help as if we were giving you a refreshing drink.

O loving thoughtfulness of our Savior, you do not deprive us of the consolation of tending you in your sufferings. Praise to you, O Christ, our Redeemer! Amen!

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