Pete Burds: I Thirst

What are we doing gathered here at Steubenville? For what are we searching? What do we think will make us happy? Pete Burds’ keynote on Friday evening asked us to consider what our thirst is really for.

Thirst: For What Do We Long?

We all have basic desires for food, drink, and sleep. These are good to pay attention to and to satisfy.

We also have another level of desire. We desire popularity and thirst for the desire to be known and to be a big deal. We all desire relationships, not just romantic relationships, but for a good family and friendships. Maybe you desire money or to get into a good college?

Even if we can attain these desires, we remain unsatisfied.

An Unquenched Thirst

At the heart of all these deeper desires is a thirst to be happy. Yet so many things that we seek leave us unsatisfied. So many of our desires leave us wanting more. Pete shared his experience as a kid with McDonald’s happy meals and unsatisfying friendships as a high schooler to illustrate this.

Our hearts ache for something more, for something greater. Pete shared one of his favorite quotes: “We have a Grand Canyon-sized hole in our heart that we try to fill with marbles.” Too often we try to fill our desires with insignificant things, whatever our sins or struggles may be.

Our thirst will never be satisfied with these insignificant things because what we actually desire is love. At the core, all of or actions are motivated by a desire to be loved. It is love that will make us truly happy, will truly quench our thirst.

Jesus Desires to Quench Your Thirst

In the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, we hear how Jesus meets the woman who was shunned by society. He tells her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14) Pete explained that, in Jesus, we find infinite love and so it is Jesus who is able to truly satisfy our thirst, who is able to fill that Grand Canyon in our hearts.

Pete pointed out that the most amazing thing is that, as much as we thirst for God and his infinite love, God thirsts for us even more. God wishes to love us infinitely. He is looking for us.

Are we putting ourselves in a place for God to find us??


Jesus wants to have a close and intimate relationship with you; this is the desire of His heart.

I’ve started to drink of this living water, and my life is completely different because of it.

I encourage you to put yourself in a place where you can be found by Him.

Written by Stephanie To
Stephanie To works for the Respect Life Apostolate for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. A lawyer and bioethicist by training, she is passionate about the Catholic faith and pro-life issues. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys making music (playing the violin, playing the handbells, and singing), cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals and KU Jayhawks, and hanging out with friends. You can follow her on Twitter at @stephaniehto.