REFLECT – Day 16:
Well, we find ourselves at the beginning of another exploration. We continue our Lent journey through “The Beatitudes” and continue to flesh out certain phrases by then exploring how Jesus embodied them throughout his life.
I hope you remind hungry and thirsty for more discovery and open to the teaching of Christ. Today we once again turn to Matthew 5:1-10 and notice the fourth phrase.
The portrait of Jesus is given a fourth dimension. Jesus is hungry and thirsty for righteousness.
In the third beatitude about meekness, Jesus puts himself in the long line of Israel’s kings – David, Solomon. The ideal king would enter the city humble and rising on a donkey (Matthew 21:5 quoting Zechariah 9:9).
In the fourth, Jesus places himself in the long line of prophets – Elijah, Elisha, Amos and Isaiah – who long to see God’s justice prevail.
The prophets hold to a powerful vision of what the world can and should be: a world in which the weak are protected, not exploited. Jesus describes this vision of a new world as the kingdom of God (or the kingdom of heaven in Matthew). The prophets often act out their message in powerful signs.
Perhaps you can cast your mind back to the works of Elijah against the prophets of Baal, or Isaiah’s radical warnings given to kings. What other actions did OT prophets take?
The gospels will show us that Jesus is a prophet in this long tradition.
Perhaps you can more easily recall some of the actions that Jesus did, as a glimpse into the new reality of the kingdom of God? What springs to mind?
But of course Jesus also reveals himself to be more than a prophet, one who is the absolute image of God and righteousness. And the giver of righteousness to all who put their trust in him.
Still your mind. Take time to listen to the words of Jesus and repeat them several times with the rhythm of your breathing.
‘Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst after righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.’
If you can, plan to fast one day this week in some way. Can you connect your hunger and thirst with a longing for justice?