Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus addressing Yahweh as 'Father'. But we see at Matt 27:46 Jesus addressing the Father as `God':

"And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

One is eager to know the deeper meaning of that way of addressing. What do the teachings of Catholic Church say about the particular way Jesus addressed the Father just before His death at the Cross?

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    In case Jesus was repeating the prayer at Psalms 22:2, He would have said it in Hebrew. The Evangelist makes it clear that Jesus uttered the words in Aramaic, His mother-tongue. That, in deed , gives a personal touch to the utterance ! Sep 2, 2019 at 8:07
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    Jesus uses "God" simply because He is quoting a Psalm which uses that word. Were you asking for something deeper than this? Sep 2, 2019 at 12:52
  • Mind that the utterance of Jesus is one of the few sentences transliterated from Aramaic and appearing in translations of the Gospels across the world. Hebrew having been the language of prayer of the Jews, it is quite unlikely that Jesus recited the psalms in Aramaic. I therefore, wish to agree with Geremia's answer. Sep 3, 2019 at 4:42
  • Fair enough; although Geremia's answer doesn't address the language issue either. Sep 3, 2019 at 11:06
  • I prefer to take the language-point as a prelude to the answer. After all, St Aquinas leaves no scope for doubt; does he ? Sep 3, 2019 at 11:53

2 Answers 2


St. Thomas Aquinas's commentary on Matthew 27:46 explains that

He calls Him His Father, in that He is God; He calls Him His God, in that He is man: wherefore, when He says, My God, My God, etc., it is clear that He is speaking insofar as He is a man; hence, He groans, to express the greatness of His human suffering.


There are two thought as to what this Scripture implicates;

  1. Jesus could have been crying out in pain as he accepted the sins of the World, and the accompanying separation from God the Father. By accepting the sins of the World Jesus made himself abhorrent to the Father, and as an unrepentant abhorrent to the Holy Ghost.

  2. A lesser accepted idea is that Jesus, who often quoted Scripture, Was quoting:

Psalm 22:1  To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? 

There is no reason for ascribing either of ideas to Jesus at the Cross; as Jesus is one part of the Trinity and Eternal. Some mysteries of the Bible will never be solved on Earth.

I offer this answer only as what I have heard, but not as a real answer since the question is very close to being a truth question.

  • I think there is a substantial body of opinion that holds it is both. Sep 2, 2019 at 14:24

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