Lenten Reflection Week 5: John 19:28


After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.

This has been mentioned as fulfilled prophesy from Psalm 22:16 and/or Psalm 69:22. Jesus’ physical thirst is described vividly in 22:16, “As dry as a potsherd [a pottery fragment or a piece of sun-baked clay] is my throat; my tongue sticks to my palate;…”

As I pondered this for our fifth week of Lenten reflections, I thought about this thirst. Is it with this kind of thirst that Jesus commands us to ” hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matt. 5:6)? I believe it is.

I also thought back to earlier in John’s gospel when he quoted Jesus, “Let anyone who thirsts come to Me and drink..” (John 7:37) and that lead me to the Revelation of John, in which he writes of what one of the elders proclaimed, “They will not hunger or thirst anymore“. John’s use of “thirst” and “living water” appear throughout his gospel and the Revelation. So the most obvious question for us to ponder this week is, “Do I thirst for Jesus, the Living Water?”

In living out my call as a faithful disciple, do I “hunger and thirst for righteousness”? What does that mean? This means doing the will of God. As Jesus explains in John 4:34, “My food is to do the will of the One who sent me and to finish His work.” That’s a very challenging task for us, isn’t it? If the two greatest commandments are “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt.22:37-39), isn’t this what we should be doing? Did not even Paul write that,”Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law“?

Is this what we thirst for? If it isn’t, don’t you think that we should sit down and evaluate our spiritual condition? For we can fool ourselves if we want, but God will not be fooled!

Now, doing the will of God can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the love of Christ and in the spirit of prayer. Doing the work of Christ means we express the love of Christ to others with acts of kindness and/or other practical helps. This can also be spiritual guidance. Remember, Jesus clearly states, “…without me you can do nothing.”

In these acts of righteousness and love, Jesus promises us we “will not hunger or thirst anymore“(Rev. 7:16) and that He will give us “a gift from the spring of life-giving water” (Rev.21:6). A faithful servant will receive his reward.

So this week let us consider to do at least one of the following: Corporal works of mercy or Spiritual works of mercy.

The Corporal works of mercy are:

  • to feed the hungry
  • to give drink to the thirsty
  • to clothe the naked
  • to visit the imprisoned
  • to shelter the homeless
  • to visit the sick
  • to bury the dead

The Spiritual works of mercy are:

  • correct those who need it
  • teach the untaught
  • give advice to those who need it
  • comfort those who suffer
  • be patient with others
  • forgive others who hurt you
  • pray for others

Don’t get discouraged! No-one does all these things, and no-one does one of these things perfectly. But if we do it with a willing spirit, a prayerful attitude and the love of Jesus Christ, miracles will happen!

O my God, I love You above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because You are all good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of You. I forgive all who have injured me and I ask pardon of all whom I have injured.     Act of Love

Amen.