Jesus said: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled (satisfied).”
When I hunger and thirst for righteousness, I desire insatiably to be in right relationship with God, the Creator, and with all God has created, therefore, with – yes, this includes the world (climate, environment), yet, in this instance, I am thinking primarily of – other people and myself.
Reflecting again on the first Beatitude (poverty of spirit), when I am in right relationship with God, I believe, I know that God is God and that I am not.
To be in right relationship with God, I can be (that is, I am able, and, if able, then also willing to be) in right relationship with other people and with myself, that is, truthfully (without pretense) and truly (without any need for pretense).
To be in right relationship with other people and with myself, I am filled with the healing or satisfaction of being whole, thus, not needing to aspire to be and to become other than what and who I am.
To put this another way…
When I am in right relationship with God, others, and myself, then I hunger and thirst to be filled, to be satisfied with things that abide. Therefore, concerning the material things of this world, I neither covet what others have nor clutch tightly what I possess, but yearn most deeply, indeed, only for what God gives.
In this, I think of the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to the Christians of Philippi, noting that when he writes “think about these things,” he means “do these things”: Whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.(1)
(1) Philippians 4.8-9 (my emphases)
Illustration: The Supper at Emmaus, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610)
Note: I consider the Emmaus-story (Luke 24.13-35), in content and context, involving Jesus’ feeding his disciples with word and sacramental act, an exemplification, having hungered and thirsted for righteousness, of being filled, being satisfied…
To wit, two disciples were on the road to Emmaus on that first Easter Day. They were in mourning, recounting to each other Jesus’ crucifixion and death. The resurrected Jesus joined them, though they did not recognize him. The three engaged in conversation, during which Jesus interpreted every word of the Law and the prophets pertaining to the Messiah. (With the living Word of God interpreting the written word of God, what a Bible study that must have been!) At Emmaus, the three dined. Jesus took bread, blessed, broke it, and gave it to them. Then they recognized him and he vanished. Astounded, they said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” Immediately, they got up and raced back to Jerusalem (seven miles in the dark!) to be with their fellow disciples and to tell them that they had seen the resurrected Jesus.
This zeal to share, for me, is the fruit of hungering and thirsting for righteousness and having been fed.