Day five: Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness
Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023
22nd week in Ordinary Time
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied” (Mt 5:6).
Today we are invited to consider the fourth beatitude of Jesus, which sums up the previous ones and, through the motif of justice, links up with the following ones, especially the last one. This beatitude calls for reflection on the object of our human hungers and desires. We know well that they are a natural, primordial and powerful urge of every human being. However, the ability to discern and satisfy such needs is truly essential.
Today we have so many possibilities to satisfy human desires, yet we can conclude that modern humans are increasingly insatiable. This is because their desires are often distant from what pleases God and what is consistent with his will. The example of the Ulma family shows us that not much is needed for true happiness and fulfillment. All that is needed is to fulfill God’s will in the reality of one’s life, as revealed to us by Jesus Christ. May this desire accompany us during the celebration of the Eucharist and become the guiding principle of our efforts and endeavors in daily life. Let us acknowledge before God that we are still far from being truly faithful in fulfilling his will. Let us therefore ask for forgiveness and the power of the Holy Spirit, so that in the midst of our many desires, we may always be able to prioritize what pleases God.
– Let us confess before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that we want to be people who hunger and thirst for justice. Meanwhile, as a result of the deception of advertising, pride and selfishness, we are ever in danger of going astray in some way. If this happens in our lives, let us apologize to God if we expect more happiness from the use of the world than from him. Let us apologize if we deceive ourselves with surrogates of happiness, instead of being concerned about the things of the kingdom of God.
– Like the Ulmas, let us rely on God without being discouraged by the fact that justice is a long way off in the world. Despite this, let us not lose hope for a better world. Let us desire justice but let us not impose on God what he must do; the kingdom of God comes imperceptibly, inconspicuously, in tiny steps. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to awaken a desire for justice in the powerful of this world, so that the structures of evil are overthrown.
– Let us rejoice in the consolations God offers us. May they awaken in us a desire for even greater things for the sake of God’s glory. Only in this way can we open ourselves to new fulfillment and thus to God’s blessing. Complete fulfillment, which is God himself, will only be had in eternity. Before this happens, on earth it must be marked by the pain that God, who is love, is not loved fully. In prayer, let us reward the Lord for human callousness and ingratitude.
Images credit: From the archive of Mateusz Szptyma. All rights reserved.
Learn More About the Ulma Family
Under the Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II, Jews were indiscriminately arrested, imprisoned, and killed. Christians who helped them hide or escape placed themselves in the same peril. Josef and Wiktoria Ulma, who, guided by the parable of the Good Samaritan, which was underlined in red ink in the family Bible, sheltered a Jewish family in their village of Markowa. As a result, in 1944, Josef, Wiktoria, and their seven small children – one not yet born – were murdered by the Nazis. This biography tells the story of the heroic virtue and sacrifice that lead to their beatification.