Fourth Sunday of Lent
March 14, 2021 •
Father Miller will offer a reflection on the Seven Last Words of Christ throughout Lent.
The Fathers tell us that when Jesus speaks of His "chalice" He's referring to an Old Testament prophecy that the Messiah will have to drink of the "chalice of suffering." And He will "drink it to the dregs", meaning He'll drain it completely.
So when Jesus says to these apostles, "Can you drink of the chalice of which I am going to drink?" He's telling them: will you endure the suffering that I am going to endure?
I think that this statement of Jesus is referring to suffering. "I thirst" He says. He thirsts for the chalice of suffering. Now why would our Lord thirst for this? Why would He hunger to suffer?
Because in the end there's only one thing that Jesus really wants: us. You.
Look how far He went to redeem you. He wants you in His life more than anything else. And the only thing that keeps us away from Him is our sin.
The only way to remove sin is by enduring the punishment for sin, the suffering that sin has merited.
Jesus, in order to remove that sin, wants to suffer for us. He craves it, longs for it. He thirsts for this chalice. Because He thirsts for you. ...
He says: I thirst for you. I thirst for you. We see the longing that Jesus has for us....
The words "I thirst", those belong to Jesus, to Him alone. And He speaks them to each one of you: I thirst for you. And I thirst for the consequences of your sin - so that I may forgive you. ...
When you go to confession, and confess your sins, Jesus is actually grateful to you for your confession. Even though your sins crucified Him. He's grateful. Because you're satisfying the deepest desire of His heart by returning to Him. By allowing Him to forgive you....
You may be grateful that He forgave you, but He's grateful that you let Him suffer for your sins and forgive you. It seems counterintuitive at first, but you have to understand the mind of the Lord. He thirsts for you in a way in which you cannot easily understand.
2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23; Eph 2:4-10; Jn 3:14-21
Homily begins at 17:35