At the liturgy for the Holy Week Triduum at Kincoppal-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart, the reflection for the celebration of Holy Thursday was given by a Year 11 student, Bella Lamaro.
As one RSCJ remarked, "much food for thought from one so young." It is also a tribute to the education these young students are receiving.
Mary Shanahan rscj
There are many ways in which we, and all creatures on this earth, whether they be human, animal or plant, show what we want. A baby’s cry of thirst allows its mother to realize its wants, and consequently she will provide for those needs. A dog’s whines of hunger and persistent begging allows its owner to realize its needs and answer its pleas for food. A flower’s demand for care is shown as it withers, and accordingly it will be watered. In so many different ways, we are able to express our wants and needs, whether it be through words or actions.
Jesus, at the moment of his death, uttered three important words. “I am thirsty”. Through this, like with the baby, the dog, the flower, Jesus too expresses his thirst and need. But what exactly does he mean by this thirst? To understand this, we need to look past the straightforward meaning of his words. Jesus is not talking about his literal thirst, but instead his thirst for love for all of humanity. His thirst is one to satisfy humanity and its needs, using his last moments on earth to express the thirst for the salvation of humankind. This is his great sacrifice, using the last moment of his life to speak on behalf of us. He was able to see the injustices and desires in his people, and so he calls out to God to satisfy those thirsts.
In John 7, Jesus said to the crowds in Jerusalem, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink”. He aided all humanity. He saw those living in poverty. Those who were homeless. Those who live under discrimination and judgment – the blind, the deaf, the crippled. His mission was to quench the thirst of everyone, including those who were marginalised. Every individual has yearning, and in calling out “I am thirsty”, he calls out to God to satisfy the thirsts of humanity and give them salvation.
Right before he dies, he says “I am finished”. This is not only to show that his human life on earth is finished. We need to look beyond this. He has finished his work on earth, he has expressed the needs of humanity. The outpouring of the liquid from his side, the blood and the water, is the outpouring of his love to satisfy this thirst. His divine heart answered our calls.
Madeleine Sophie Barat herself believed that as the blood and water outpoured, the Society of the Sacred Heart was created, due to Jesus’ sacrifice and continual giving to humanity even after death.
Taking in this message, in our very own community at Kincoppal-Rose Bay, as a unit let us open up our hearts not only to those thirsting in our society, but to each other. During this Easter Triduum, let us satisfy the need in our small but strong community by as little as a smile. Jesus sacrificed his last moments and his life to answer the calls of humankind, so over this Easter break, we must make sure to reflect on our blessing and sacrifice some of our own time and spend it with those who love us. Try to bring happiness and satisfaction to even one person, knowing you have satisfied someone’s thirst with the outpourings of your heart.