ARTICLE – Jesus is Thirsty for Souls

As Christians, we are called to be evangelizers – to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others so that they may come to know Him and experience the transformative power of His love and salvation. As Jesus commands in Matthew 28:19, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.”

But what is the driving force behind our evangelization efforts? The answer lies in the profound words of Jesus Himself from the cross: “I thirst” (John 19:28). These two simple words carry a profound depth of meaning that extends far beyond mere physical thirst. When Jesus says “I thirst,” He is expressing an insatiable longing for the salvation of every human soul, as Pope Benedict XVI explained, “These words refer…to the ardent longing for the salvation of souls.” (November 18, 2006)

This thirst of Jesus is rooted in His immense love for humanity. As the Good Shepherd, He longs to gather every lost sheep into His flock, to heal the brokenhearted, and to give rest to the weary, fulfilling His words, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). His thirst is a manifestation of His merciful heart, which yearns to embrace each and every one of us with the boundless compassion of the Father.

When we evangelize, we become partners in quenching this thirst of Jesus. Each time we share the gospel message, we are offering a refreshing drink of living water to those who are spiritually parched, longing for meaning, and searching for the purpose that can only be found in Christ, “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).  

Our evangelization efforts are a response to the burning desire of Jesus, a desire that should ignite a corresponding flame within our own hearts. Evangelization extends an invitation to encounter the One who can satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart. It is about being bearers of hope, joy, and life in a world that is often parched by despair, emptiness, and death – offering “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

So let us take up the call to evangelize with renewed fervor, motivated by the thirst of Jesus for the salvation of every soul. Let us be instruments of His love, guiding others to the living waters that flow from His pierced side, quenching their spiritual thirst, and leading them to the eternal life that He so desperately desires for all in fulfillment of His words, “Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst” (John 4:14).

Pierre-Alain Giffard

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