Thanks to the Risen Lord Jesus and in union with him, death becomes the gateway to eternal life. Truly, henceforth, we need not be afraid, even in the face of death – not if we have faith in the resurrection and are united to Christ through love.
"I thirst." Before we can speak of our love, our longings and our desire for God, we must ponder and behold first of all the unfathomable love of God for man: a love that takes him to this day, Good Friday; a love that leads Christ to willingly suffer and be nailed to the cross. In going up to the cross, Christ will satisfy the deepest thirst of the human soul: our longing for God, for happiness, for divine love.
Jesus was lifted high on the cross in order to descend to the abyss of our suffering. He experienced our deepest sorrows: failure, loss of everything, betrayal by a friend, even abandonment by God. By experiencing in the flesh our deepest struggles and conflicts, he redeemed and transformed them.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” In permitting himself to endure everything that we human beings have to endure, so Christ chooses to share this deepest of existential pains: the sense of being alone, without a loving father, or even a loving God. Here on the cross, Jesus cries out and gives voice to the deep sorrow of soul that afflicts so many of us.
‘Do you understand’ he said ‘what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.’
“Behold your mother,” he says; and so he gives Mary to be truly our mother. Christ gives to Mary the perfection of her role as the sinless Virgin Mother of the Saviour, which is that she should lead us little Christians to perfection; that she should be our intercessor in our struggle against sin; and that she should be a mediator of those graces we need so that we may grow in holiness, growing “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ep 4:13).