“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness”
Let’s get back to the Beatitudes today. The next one that Jesus gives us is “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness? What does it mean to hunger and thirst for anything? You feel a longing in your heart and wonder how you will survive without the object of your longing. You ache with a desire so deep that it seems that nothing will fill it.
Yet Jesus tell us that if we hunger and thirst after righteousness we will be filled. In order to be filled, we must first long for the right thing which is to ache for what is right and true. Now, the word righteousness is one that is filled with lots of baggage for many people. We have all known righteous people in our lives and didn’t particularly like being around them. I think we need to be careful and separate righteous from being self-righteousness. One look in the Thesaurus for the word righteous and you see words like pure, honest, decent, honorable. So, if we replace the word righteous with these words, we hear Jesus asking us to hunger and thirst after a world that is pure, decent and honorable. Imagine something so simple yet so profound as a decent world.
Jesus knew that we become the object o f our desire. We embody whatever we long for because that is where our focus is. So, if we long for an honorable world, we become those things. Consequently, we treat one another with decency and honor. We make our life about helping this to happen in the physical realm.
He then tells us that when we hunger and thirst after righteousness, we will be filled. We will see and know God. As we long for decency and we act accordingly, we discover the presence of God in ourselves and others. We will be filled with the knowledge that Spirit of God is in all things. Life becomes a sacred act. Our focus in on the presence of God and we judge with righteous judgement. We look at our brothers and sisters and see God’s glory in each one of them and commit to work even harder toward a world that will reflect what we know in our hearts to be true. We become filled with a passion and dedication to creating a world that reflects God’s beauty and grace.