Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

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"Jesus is God, therefore His love, His Thirst, is infinite. He the creator of the universe,
asked for the love of His creatures.
He thirst for our love… These words:
‘I Thirst’ –
Do they echo in our souls?”
Mother Teresa
The most plaintive, agonizing words ever spoken in all of human history were uttered by Jesus Christ as He hung dying on the cross to bring salvation to a condemned world.  Part of these words, the seven last words spoken by Jesus from the cross, is given little fanfare in the gospels. All we are told in John 19:28 is:
Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst.
But what does this really mean?  Was Jesus just complaining that he needed something to drink?  He had been beaten to such a point that he was barely recognizable as a human being.  The blood was almost completely drained out of his body.  He had not had any food or water for many hours and was in an extreme condition of dehydration.  Is that what he was talking about?  With all of the many other things he had suffered - mockings and insults, skin ripped from his body, bones pulled out of joint, hair pulled from his head and beard, a severe whipping which brought him to the point of death, nails driven into his hands and feet, struggling for each breath as he hung on the cross - why would his one complaint, if that is what it was, be about thirst?

Our Lord was talking about something much deeper than physical thirst.  He was talking about a thirst that had driven him his entire life.  He was talking about a thirst he felt even before becoming incarnate, when he shared glory with the Father in heaven (John 17:5).  He was talking of his great love for humanity, for the people who were responsible for all of the suffering he was experiencing.   His thirst is for you and me, for every single human being who has ever lived.  Our Lord thirsts for the worst sinner as well as the greatest saint.  No one is excluded.

Credit:  resource4christians.blogspot.com
In St. Faustina's diary, "Divine Mercy in My Soul", Jesus says to St. Faustina:
I desire that you know more profoundly the love that burns in My Heart for souls, and you will understand this when you meditate upon My Passion. Call upon My mercy on behalf of sinners; I desire their salvation.  (paragraph 186)
My daughter, look into the abyss of My mercy and give praise and glory to this mercy of Mine. Do it in this way: Gather all sinners from the entire world and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. I want to give Myself to souls; I yearn for souls, My daughter. On the day of My feast, the Feast of Mercy, you will go through the whole world and bring fainting souls to the spring of My mercy. I shall heal and strengthen them.   (paragraph 206)
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The only condition Jesus puts on His Love is that we say yes to him.   As He said to St. Faustina (paragraph 186), "Call upon My mercy on behalf of sinners; I desire their salvation."


This is something that never stops amazing me. I was away from the church for almost four decades, and I most definitely earned my place in hell. I had gone my own way and done my own thing, and I was completely undeserving of the mercy of Jesus Christ. And yet, I know that He never stopped calling me. Although I turned away from him, He never once turned away from me.

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Now it seems that in my spiritual journey, instead of feeling better about myself as I grow, I have come to see even more how truly undeserving I am of Christ's sacrifice. I see my selfishness, my pride, my self righteousness, my desire for the physical over the spiritual - and I realize there is nothing I can do that will in even the tiniest way merit the love of Christ and eternal salvation. But Our Lord tells me that He already knows that, and it does not diminish His love - His thirst - for me in any way. And this is true for every single human being who has ever breathed the breath of life.

As Our Lord told St. Faustina in paragraph 1074 of her diary:
Tell [all people], My daughter, that I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls.
Credit:  catholicsaintquotes.com
Blessed Mother Teresa, who overflowed with the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, gave us a beautiful prayer explaining the meaning of "I thirst" which is completely in line with the words of Jesus Christ to St. Faustina:

It is as follows:
It is true. I stand at the door of your heart, day and night. Even when you are not listening, even when you doubt it could be Me, I am there. I await even the smallest sign of your response, even the least whispered invitation that will allow Me to enter.
And I want you to know that whenever you invite Me, I do come – always, without fail. Silent and unseen I come, but with infinite power and love, and bringing the many gifts of My Spirit. I come with My mercy, with My desire to forgive and heal you, and with a love for you beyond your comprehension – a love every bit as great as the love I have received from the Father ("As much as the Father has loved me, I have loved you…" (Jn. 15:10) I come - longing to console you and give you strength, to lift you up and bind all your wounds. I bring you My light, to dispel your darkness and all your doubts. I come with My power, that I might carry you and all your burdens; with My grace, to touch your heart and transform your life; and My peace I give to still your soul.
I know you through and through. I know everything about you. The very hairs of your head I have numbered. Nothing in your life is unimportant to Me. I have followed you through the years, and I have always loved you – even in your wanderings. I know every one of your problems. I know your needs and your worries. And yes, I know all your sins. But I tell you again that I love you – not for what you have or haven’t done – I love you for you, for the beauty and dignity My Father gave you by creating you in His own image. It is a dignity you have often forgotten, a beauty you have tarnished by sin. But I love you as you are, and I have shed My Blood to win you back. If you only ask Me with faith, My grace will touch all that needs changing in your life, and I will give you the strength to free yourself from sin and all its destructive power.
I know what is in your heart – I know your loneliness and all your hurts – the rejections, the judgments, the humiliations, I carried it all before you. And I carried it all for you, so you might share My strength and victory. I know especially your need for love – how you are thirsting to be loved and cherished. But how often have you thirsted in vain, by seeking that love selfishly, striving to fill the emptiness inside you with passing pleasures – with the even greater emptiness of sin. Do you thirst for love? "Come to Me all you who thirst…" (Jn. 7: 37). I will satisfy you and fill you. Do you thirst to be cherished? I cherish you more than you can imagine – to the point of dying on a cross for you.
I Thirst for You. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe My love for you. I THIRST FOR YOU. I thirst to love you and to be loved by you – that is how precious you are to Me. I THIRST FOR YOU. Come to Me, and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds. I will make you a new creation, and give you peace, even in all your trials I THIRST FOR YOU. You must never doubt My mercy, My acceptance of you, My desire to forgive, My longing to bless you and live My life in you. I THIRST FOR YOU. If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all. For Me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you. I THIRST FOR YOU. Open to Me, come to Me, thirst for Me, give me your life – and I will prove to you how important you are to My Heart.
Don’t you realize that My Father already has a perfect plan to transform your life, beginning from this moment? Trust in Me. Ask Me every day to enter and take charge of your life. – and I will. I promise you before My Father in heaven that I will work miracles in your life. Why would I do this? Because I THIRST FOR YOU. All I ask of you is that you entrust yourself to Me completely. I will do all the rest.
Even now I behold the place My Father has prepared for you in My Kingdom. Remember that you are a pilgrim in this life, on a journey home. Sin can never satisfy you, or bring the peace you seek. All that you have sought outside of Me has only left you more empty, so do not cling to the things of this life. Above all, do not run from Me when you fall. Come to Me without delay. When you give Me your sins, you gave Me the joy of being your Savior. There is nothing I cannot forgive and heal; so come now, and unburden your soul.
No matter how far you may wander, no matter how often you forget Me, no matter how many crosses you may bear in this life; there is one thing I want you to always remember, one thing that will never change. I THIRST FOR YOU – just as you are. You don’t need to change to believe in My love, for it will be your belief in My love that will change you. You forget Me, and yet I am seeking you every moment of the day – standing at the door of your heart and knocking. Do you find this hard to believe? Then look at the cross, look at My Heart that was pierced for you. Have you not understood My cross? Then listen again to the words I spoke there – for they tell you clearly why I endured all this for you: "I THIRST…"(Jn 19: 28). Yes, I thirst for you – as the rest of the psalm – verse I was praying says of Me: "I looked for love, and I found none…" (Ps. 69: 20). All your life I have been looking for your love – I have never stopped seeking to love you and be loved by you. You have tried many other things in your search for happiness; why not try opening your heart to Me, right now, more than you ever have before.
Whenever you do open the door of your heart, whenever you come close enough, you will hear Me say to you again and again, not in mere human words but in spirit. "No matter what you have done, I love you for your own sake Come to Me with your misery and your sins, with your troubles and needs, and with all your longing to be loved. I stand at the door of your heart and knock. Open to Me, for I THIRST FOR YOU…"
There is a song from the 1960's that I think really speaks to this. When I hear this song, I think of the story of the prodigal son, a story about a son who tells his father he wants his inheritance now. He wants to be able to enjoy life on his own terms. The father, sadly, gives his son what he wants and lets him go. After losing everything he has, the son swallows his pride and makes a decision to go back to his father and ask if he can at least be a servant in his household.

What the son doesn't realize is that the father has never stopped looking for him or loving him. The father has never turned his back on him, but has been waiting for his return. As Luke 15:20 says, "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him."


Every one of us becomes the prodigal son every time we sin. Even in our sin, Our Lord does not turn his back on us. He calls out to us with an even greater sense of urgency, begging us to come back to Him, thirsting and longing for us. There is a line from the Office of Readings today (From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, bishop) which says:
He who stands in need of no one gave communion with himself to those who need him.
That is our Creator.  That is the God who loves us, no matter who or what we are.

Ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no river wide enough, ain't no valley low enough to keep Him from you.  How can we ever doubt Him?

3 comments:

  1. Beautifully written. I especially like the way you started with the quote from the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and how she asks the question, if the words of our Lord's echo in our own hearts.

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    Replies
    1. We have such a magnificent Lord and Savior!

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  2. Thank you for this post, I am profoundly touched. God bless you

    + I love You Lord Jesus Christ +

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