During Lent this year, the Spiritual Life Commission will be spotlighting each of the Corporal Works of Mercy. This week is drink to the thirsty.
We have all experienced physical thirst under a variety of circumstances. Most often our thirst is not due to a lack of access to drinking water, whereas close to a billion people worldwide do not have access to safe water.
In our efforts to give drink to the thirsty this Lent, we can contribute to relief agencies such as Catholic Relief Services through Operation Rice Bowl to support programs to provide access to clean water and sanitation to those in need. We can also be sensitive to the many ways in which we take water for granted, and make an effort to conserve water.
We also “thirst” in other ways – for love, attention, affirmation. We thirst for God. We remember Jesus’ words on the cross: “I thirst” (John 19:28). Christ thirsts for our salvation. Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta dedicated her life to satiating Jesus’ thirst for the salvation of souls by serving the poorest of the poor. She wrote to her community, “Until you can hear Jesus in the silence of your own heart, you will not be able to hear Him saying ‘I thirst’ in the hearts of the poor.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours” (par. 2560). The Spiritual Life Commission invites you to reflect on how you might serve the thirst of others this Lent. What are those around you thirsting for? A smile, a touch, companionship, a listening ear? Can you offer your time, attention, a cup of coffee?
How will you give drink to the thirsty this Lent?