Blessed are those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness (“Deep Wisdom” 5 of 9)

Credit: Subrohit, Wikimedia Commons.

I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulations; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

In His goodness, God calls us to greatness. In the God-given circumstances of our lives, we are called to endure trials, overcome obstacles, become heroes of virtue for the faith. We must be ready even to die for Christ, if necessary. But sinful creatures that we are, we are prone to shrink back from the challenges of living the Christian life. We don’t fully believe that Jesus has won the victory and so we are afraid of following Him wholeheartedly into His daily plan for our lives. If we had the courage of faith, we would long for the Lord deeply, and strive forward with perseverance, and without hesitating.

In other words, we must be courageous, confident, and bold in fulfilling our call as Christians. Those who do so, are those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” Righteousness, in this sense, means the saving activity of God. We need to desire deeply to be conformed to His saving will, and correspond to His grace, at every moment.

Because those with this Beatitude love and know the Lord so deeply, they have an unshakable confidence that He will fulfill His promises, and an insatiable desire to see them fulfilled. Therefore, they practice the faith, live their Christian discipleship, and follow Jesus Christ — facing the obstacles — with heroic faithfulness. And they do so with joy and peace because they are not afraid. They know that despite current appearances, they are bound closer to Jesus in their difficulties, and that their burning desire for the reign of righteousness will ultimately be satisfied. They are true saints of the Most High God.

How does the “deep wisdom” of those hungry for righteousness prepare us to evangelize?

The courageous boldness of the faith of those who hunger and thirst for righteousness puts them in a privileged position to obey the Lord’s will in all things, including in matters related to evangelization. Because they intensely desire God’s glory and the salvation of men, they will do (to those ends) whatever is called for in the moment. They will speak when they should speak, be silent when they should be silent. They will bear witness courageously, despite the consequences that others would fear.

Author: Mr. Mark J Hornbacher, OP

Mark is the Vice President of Programs and Director of Theology at St. Paul Street Evangelization. He has a MA in Theology and a B.Phil from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, and a BA in Theology from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI. With Steve Dawson, he is the co-author of Ordinary Christians, Extraordinary Signs: Healing in Evangelization. He is a lay Dominican, and resides in Sterling Heights, MI with his wife Gayle, and their two sons.

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