1. There is nothing that causes such agonizing thirst as loss of blood. The prayer of the wounded soldier upon the battle-field is always for a drink of water; he forgets all other pains in his burning thirst. What must have been the intolerable suffering of Our Lord, Whose sacred Body had been gradually drained of every droop of blood ! All day long the blood had been flowing—at the scourging, on the way to Calvary, as He was dragged hither and thither, with the sharp cords cutting His wrists. And now upon the cross, as from hands and feet a stream bedewed the ground, fiercer and fiercer grew the burning, parching thirst which consumed Him. O my Jesus, was there none to quench that thirst endured for us ?
2. Our Lord's thirst was to atone especially for the sins of intemperance and self-indulgence in drink. Every sin of drunkenness and excess or self-indulgence in our food and drink added to that thirst and made it still more intolerable. My God, forgive me any such offenses, and help me to deny myself some lawful indulgence, that so I may atone for my sins and assuage in some degree that sacred thirst Thou didst endure for me.
3. There was, however, a deeper meaning in Our Lord's cry: "I thirst!" He was thirsting for the souls of sinners, thirsting for the love of ungrateful men, thirsting for my love. He thirsts for it still, that I may be more faithful to His grace. O my Jesus, help me to love Thee more !
Source: The Sacred Passion of Jesus Christ - Short Meditations for Everyday in Lent,
by Richard F. Clarke, S.J. Imprimatur 1889