On the last day and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood there and cried out: ‘If any man is thirsty, let him come to me! Let the man come and drink who believes in me!’ John 7:37-39
Broad meaning of thirst.
Thirstiness is a state of poverty. It is a longing for water. That is why Jesus said: ‘And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God’. Luke 6:20. Poverty is blessing.
Poverty has wide meaning. Once a monk met a poor man beside the road. Seeing the man very sad he asked the reason. The poor man told him about his poverty- he has only a sack as his possession. Suddenly the monk captured the sack and run down the road. The poor man quivering himself from the shock started to chase the monk. The monk stopped on a mountain and returned the sack and the poor sighed with joy. So the meaning of possession narrowed to self- the silliest things we consider as our treasure. We have to empty ourselves to drink from the eternal fountain.
That is the reason Jesus asks the young man to sell all his wealth and then follow him.
Thirstiness is a state of emptiness: Jesus need empty water pots of stone to fill with wine. Water pots are resemblances of self. He is changing the pots to unlimited resource of wine as he changes the water to tastiest wine they have ever tasted. In an extreme meaning emptiness is the presence of God. ‘And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters’. Genesis 1:2.
When he says drink from me the water is His own life. In the last supper when he asked the disciples to drink from the cup of wine, he has nothing more to offer than his own life. It is not simply his blood.
Drinking from the fountain.
The attracting feature of Christ’s self is that he understands the thirst of people. He had a third eye to peoples needs. After his preaching Jesus says they are hungry. When he bringing the girl to life the first thing he is saying is to give her something to eat. Our social and domestic relationships grow only when we realize other people are thirsty. One of the last six questions is about this understanding the needs of others – ‘For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink’. Matthew 25:35.
He eats with tax collectors and drink with prostitutes. The main criticism about Jesus was this. ‘But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum?’ Luke 5: 29.When they came to the table they were sinners, but when they left the table they should have changed.
And Jesus is waiting for us with a fatted calf. Luke 15:11-32. It was a fatted calf, which he was keeping anxiously for the returning day of his lost son. So when Jesus asked to drink from him he is inviting to share his table. And after his every table the man changes.
Jesus’ hospitality is narrated in a beautiful way much enough to make our eyes wet. ‘But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom’. The sharing of his love is somewhat around the table. He valued it even to say ‘And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.‘ Mark 14:18.
So he is inviting everyone to drink from the fruit of wine- the holy mass – everyday, as his kingdom is now among us.