“Blessed are those who are hungry and thirsty for what is right. They will be filled.”
Matthew 5: 6 New International Reader’s Version
The injustices of the world pile up in people’s minds, and upon their hearts. Inequalities, miscarriages of justice, exploitation, crimes against vulnerable populations, tragedies befalling innocent people, and so many other things tug on our heart strings. We sometimes feel like modern-day prophets, crying out to the Lord, and to anyone else who will listen about the injustice we see around us.
When we feel those things, and I believe most of us do from time to time, we are hungering for righteousness: for what is right in God’s eyes. We long for Christ to come again, marching into our broken world, fixing every wrong, healing us where we are wounded, and establishing His Kingdom here on earth.
Often, issues of what is right and wrong are complex, at least from a human point of view. So many people seem to want different things, with often conflicting goals. Yet in spite of our differences, many of us long for a world where everything goes right. We hope for an earthly home where nothing is wrong, or broken, or unjust. We want the scales not tipped one way or another, but balanced. What would we give to be part of such a world? Maybe everything…. That is longing for, and thirsting for, justice and righteousness.
Here, Jesus proclaims that those who thirst for everything to be made right with the world will one day, someday, find a world turned right side up. Instead of a mixed up, broken, upside-down world, God will right every wrong, wipe away every tear, cure every disease, and heal every wound.
Jesus' fourth blessing here, in the beatitudes, may be genuine comfort for those longing for everything to go right in the world. Why? Because so often, it seems that once we right one wrong in this world, six more wrongs pop up! Like the prophets were, we the people of God are always playing “whack-a-mole” with the injustices in this world.
Our longing is not so much that a given injustice will end, but that the never-ending parade of injustices will end. We want the nightmarish parade to end, and God’s righteousness to reign instead. However, this passage does not tell us when it will end. It simply says, “they will be filled”. We don’t know the day or the time when the promise will be fulfilled, but we for certain that we can count on it. God always keeps His promises.
Yet we cannot spend our days wringing our hands and hoping that today is the day. Although our world looks in many places to be crumbling, God calls us to continue on until that day, His day. So, while we are waiting, be wise, be aware, and be strong. May we be those who are a testimony to others as to how Christ wants us to live our lives before He returns. Let us not have no part in injustice, but let us work together for real solutions, as we seek justice. May we not lead with the emotions that add to the injustice. Instead, let us be the ones quietly lead others to peace, and the love of our Lord.
When life looks like it is crumbling, remind us that You are catching every piece that is falling. You have not deserted us. You are even closer than we realize. Help us to keep our eyes on You, the prize of the highest calling. Give us patience and wisdom to do Your work, at this time, and in this place where you have called us to minister. We pray this prayer in Your faithful name. Amen