Blessed Are Those Who Hunger And Thirst For Righteousness
St Padre Pio

Blessed Are Those Who Hunger And Thirst For Righteousness

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. (Mt 5:6)

In Proverbs (24:6), we are reminded that “though the just fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble from only one mishap.”

This idea of falling and rising is one we encounter over and over in the scriptures and in our own lives. In a special way, the person of Simon Peter provides us a clear image to place our arms around. For despite his denial of Jesus, Our Lord quickly forgives and sends him on his way. Like Peter, we are joined to Jesus’ unending mercy. As such, each time we fall, a subsequent opportunity is provided us to begin again.

St. Padre Pio once remarked:

“My past, O Lord, to your mercy; my present, to your love; my future, to your Providence!”

According to Fr. Daniel Harrington, S.J. (Sacra Pagina, The Gospel of Matthew, pp.79), “Matthew expands the Q form (Luke 6:21) by adding ‘thirst’ (to bring out the background in Psalm 107:5, 8-9, and ‘for righteousness’ (to clarify the nature of the hunger and thirst). Righteousness refers to God’s justice and then to human relationships and behavior. In an apocalyptic context, righteousness refers to the vindication of the just at the last judgment.” In The International Bible Commentary: A Catholic Commentary for the 21st Century (pp. 1271), Farmer notes that “in Isaiah 55:1-2, the celebration of the restoration of the reign of God is put in terms of an invitation to those who hunger and thirst to come to the celebration banquet at which time the ‘everlasting covenant’ made with David is transferred to the people (Isaiah 55:3-5). Those ‘hungering and thirsting for righteousness’ are those waiting for God’s righteousness, the fulfillment of God’s promise to restore the people to freedom and prosperity (Isaiah 45:13; 42:6, 21).”

In a special way, Fr. Michael Crosby O.F.M. Cap. (Spirituality of the Beatitudes: Matthew’s Challenge for First World Christians, pp. 121) provides insight into the ways that justice may be realized:

“To achieve the constitutive experience of God’s justice in us, we are to hunger and thirst for God’s life, saving power, and care for us. We are never to be satisfied until we experience these manifestations of God’s justice. We are to ask for justice in prayer, seeks its power in reflection, and knock until we have opened for us ever deepening experiences and understandings of this liberating presence of God with us. We become blessed with justice, we share in God’s life, which empowers us to be faithful.”

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Written by
Deacon Kurt Godfryd