Blessed are They Which Hunger And Thirst
“Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
To fully appreciate this expression we remind ourselves that physical hunger and thirst are the strongest urges of the body, and likewise the hunger and thirst of the soul to grow into the likeness of God is the greatest urge of the spirit, once that urge is awakened in the heart. Yes, all other desires are destroyed by this one great spiritual hunger to be renewed to the likeness of our Creator.
Let us also remember that the desire for bread and water does not end, but constantly become greater until we either receive food or starve to death; in like manner there is no end to a hunger to be transformed into the likeness of God and to become more conformed to the mind of Christ. Nothing but food and drink can quench hunger and thirst. If you should offer much gold or other earthly treasures to one who is at the point of starvation, he would steadfastly say, “Give me something to eat or drink or I will die. Nothing else can help him. It is the same with a soul that is hungry and thirsty for the righteousness of Jesus Christ. For, apart from the righteousness of Christ there is no restoration for the soul; nothing else can soothe or satisfy it. Likewise, it is impossible for a soul who thirsts for God- as the Psalmist wrote: “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God” (Psalms 42:2)- to be satisfied with that which many religions accepts as salvation.
Many focus on an outward formality that does not mistreat anyone; does not openly commit great sins; does not cheat anyone; does not openly commit gross sins; and does not cheat anyone. It refrains from cursing, swearing, and the misuse of Gods name; it is busy doing good, in helping the poor with its abundance: it goes to church and partakes of the sacred sacrament, and who ever does this is called a good Catholic; but all this cannot bring peace to one who thirst for God; all this will not restore his soul. He desire a religion that rises higher and reaches down deeper than this outwardly visible religion. Naturally, he also gladly does all the things named above but does not seek his salvation in it. Hes seeks his salvation in Christ. He feeds the hungry and does good to all men out of a pure love, because the love of God is shed abroad in his heart through the Holy Spirit. But all this is but the outward results of an inward religion ("by there fruits you shall know them") for which he constantly hungers and thirsts, ever longing for the knowledge of God in Christ Jesus; to be united with God through the Jesus Christ; to be in full fellowship with the Triune God. This is the religion for which he so passionately thirsts. Such a person can never rest until his soul has found genuine peace with God through Jesus Christ.
Dear brothers and sisters, whoever you may be that God has given this hunger and thirst for His righteousness, pray Him that the enemy of your soul may not mislead you, that you may never lose this priceless gift and that this priceless gift and that this longing may never end. You have a hunger and thirst for righteousness, do not allow to become satisfied with just the ceremonies and outward formalism that God through His Church has given to us. But also find contentment with the inward religion of Jesus Christ, in which is Spirit and Life with power unto salvation, for the more of that life which is in God and the more intimate his fellowship with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, that much more zeal a person has for the salvation of those who are not yet truly converted. And this concern for the salvation of others will not lose its reward, for: “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.”