Blessed are Those Who Thirst for Righteousness (Beatitudes part IV)

” Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled ” ( Matthew 5:6 )
What exactly is righteousness ? How does it apply ?   Glad you asked !
The dictionary says that righteousness means someone who is “Morally upright, without guilt or sin”
There is however a great deal more than this when we apply this definition to our faith life.
Paul, in Romans (10:3) talks about achieving righteousness through faith in the atonement made possible through the paschal mystery, the life, death and resurrection of Our Lord.  In ROmans 9:30, Paul preaches that the Jews had not received righteousness because they sought it not by faith but by works.
This is an important part and something that is confused by many.  The principle of “Sola Fides” – says that by fatih alone can you attain salvation.  This is a misunderstanding of the true meaning.  Instead you should understand that Our faith walks hand in hand with our works.  James 2:14 reminds us that ” Faith without works is dead.”.
You can do all the good works and acts of charity you want, and be loved by those of the world, but without faith, it will do you no good on the road to your salvation.  On the other hand, and where many find difficulty  is the idea that faith requires of us the work.  It is not just a requirement,  Our faith is what drives us to works of Mercy, charity, and love.
The growth in our faith lives becomes a natural outpouring of love and drives us to want to serve others through our works.
This is exactly why the Church teaches us about the Corporal and spiritual works of mercy.  Did you ever consider why there was a distinction between these two types of works ?  Its in the name !   One is all about the spiritual internal works, and the other is all about the external works  both driven by faith !
Now, lets turn for a moment back to the beginning and think about righteousness.  Are we  righteous ?  Are we without sin ?  Are we virutous or upright in all we do ?    At times it might be like asking of your a saint.
 There was a college professor I know who used to say, that ” The more you know, the less you know !”.  It is this way in our faith life as well.  It is simply impossible to know everything since only God knows everything.  However, where it applies to our faith, the more you know, sometimes the more you desire to know. The paradox is that on the road to salvation, that knowledge will not help you to a certain extent, because the simple person who has a simple basic faith may still be just as far on the road of salvation as you are.  Knowledge without faith falls into the same catagory as works; without faith it is dead.
The question is do we really thirst for righteousness ?
 Is there a deep burning desire to be truly good and virutous, moral upright and  holy people ?
Is it that kind of thirsting a basic, need for survival burning desire ?
In the end run, this one question can be a litmus test of where we are in our daily walk.
May God give you the gift of his peace !



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One Response to “Blessed are Those Who Thirst for Righteousness (Beatitudes part IV)”

  1. SaintlySages Says:

    Brother, you address in this excellent post a sad confusion which has, in part, brought about division among Christians.

    St. Paul said: “We account a man to be justified by faith, without the works of the Law” (Rom 3:28). These “works of the Law” are not the works of charity that Christ asks us to do.

    The Lord God refers to these “works of the Law” when He says to the rulers of Sodom and Gomorrah: “To what purpose do you offer me the multitude of your victims? . . . I am full, I desire not holocausts of rams, and fat of fatlings, and blood of calves, and lambs, and goats. . . . Offer sacrifice no more in vain: incense is an abomination to me. The new moons, and the sabbaths, and other festivals I will not abide, your assemblies are wicked.” (Is 1:11, 13).

    What does He want? He says: “Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from my eyes: cease to do perversely, learn to do well, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, plead for the fatherless, defend the widow” (vv. 16-17).

    God bless!

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