Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
A fervent desire—
C onsider this beatitude spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ in his famous Sermon on the mount— Blessed are those who hunger and thirst. Jesus Christ references strong natural appetites we all of us have in order to illustrate a spiritual sense. In such a way we need to long for the righteousness of God.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,
for they shall be filled.” —Matthew 5:6
When we physically have hunger and thirst, we eagerly search for food or water to satisfy our hunger or thirst. An infant, for instance, understand what hunger and thirst means. An infant will cry loud to let know of his craving for the food. Apostle Peter even uses this example, so that we can understand more fully what it means to hunger and thirst: we are to desire ‘spiritual milk,” the word of God (1 Peter 2:2). We must strongly desire to eat and drink food for our soul. Jesus Christ said: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4).
Just as we hunger and thirst material things, so we must have the same drive to obey the justice of God. Jesus Christ said: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Many people in this world hunger and thirst to acquire the physical necessities but they kill themselves, as we say commonly, by working harder, working extra hours, or working two or three jobs to make more money and in that way, they hope reach their goals. Of course, it is good to work provided we do not destroy our health, or hinder our duty to God. The Apostle Paul said to the Thessalonian brothers:
Nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toll night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. Not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. —2 Thessalonians 3:8-10.
Yet, it is sad that many of us do not have the same hunger and thirst for the spiritual things as we do for physical things. Sometimes we have no interest to attend regularly the worship services so we can receive spiritual food. We simply do not yearn to obey the commandments of God. And when we live busy only for the material work, we really are not happy; indeed, we are not blessed in the eyes of God. We must consider the words that Jesus Christ spoke: “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life” (John 6:270. Christ urges us to understand with that that we must give priority to spiritual food. We must not be negligent in the salvation of our souls. Hebrews 2:3 says: “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?.”
If we want to be blessed, we must hunger and thirst for righteousness of God. We must wish to do the will of God. We must desire to know the commandments of God and want to obey those commandments. We must wish to be righteous not unrighteous, because Christ the Lord has said that only the righteous will receive eternal life (Matthew 25:46). Think on these things, and may God bless you.
—Roberto V. Spencer