ArticlesFish Tales

Last 7 Words of Christ

The 4th Word – DISTRESS

“I thirst.”

After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth.”- John 19: 28-29

Water, thirst and drinking are all part of a common motif throughout the Gospels, especially in John.  Jesus tells us in John 7: “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink.

In this moment on the cross, Jesus, who offers us the promise of living waters through the Holy Spirit, is dry… parched… empty.

We can all relate to the feeling of both physical thirst and inner emptiness.

But what else was Jesus thirsting for? In this moment, Jesus was betrayed by humanity and feeling forsaken by his heavenly Father.

He thirsts for us; he wants nothing more than for us to fully understand just how much he loves us and for us to love him in return. When Jesus called out his thirst upon the cross, he was given the sour taste of vinegar. In the same way, we too often respond to Jesus’s thirst not with our love, but with the vinegar of a heart hardened to God.

Listen to the 2-minute audio preview on Hallow at  Extended audio (5-, 7- and 10-minutes versions) and text mediations, including writings from various Saints, is available to Hallow subscribers.  For those who are not subscribers, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial at

Text and graphics from Hallow Catholic Prayer and Meditation Website