Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice



What is this justice that is as necessary to our souls as food and drink are to our bodies? Why does Our Lord call blessed those who hunger and thirst after justice? Unfortunately, there are many who confuse justice with vengeance. There are many who see justice as a settling of accounts, or as the fruit of a revolution in society, or as a loss of power on one side and a increase of power on the other. There are those who see justice in terms of a pie divided and distributed to each one and to all in rigorously equal pieces. None of these notions correspond to the justice after which Jesus would have us hunger and thirst.

Readjustment to the Holiness of God

The justice of this beatitude is, rather, the fruit of a radical readjustment to the holiness of God; this readjustment is, essentially, the grace of reconciliation with God as He is and as He has revealed Himself. It is the grace of conversion to the glory of God that shines upon the Face of His Christ. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:6). What is sin if not thoughts, words, and deeds that causes a soul to become maladjusted to the holiness of God?  Sin is a state of maladjustment to the Divine Plan; it alienates man from the cause and source of his happiness, and castes him into a downward spiral of restlessness, fear, and vice.

Before Thee in the Sanctuary

Justice is the right relationship of all persons and things to the holiness of God. One who hungers and thirsts after holiness, hungers and thirsts after a real participation by grace in the holiness of God. This is the burning desire of the psalmist that we repeat so often in the Divine Office: “O God, my God, to thee do I watch at break of day. For thee my soul hath thirsted; for thee my flesh, O how many ways! In a desert land, and where there is no way, and no water: so in the sanctuary have I come before thee, to see thy power and thy glory” (Psalm 62:2–3).

Beholding the Glory of the Lord

There is in every human being a profound yearning for the readjustment of all that one is to the adorable will of the Thrice–Holy God. One who allows himself to be readjusted, by the secret inward action of the Holy Ghost, to the will of God, discovers the glory of the holiness of God and, through Christ, is transfigured into the glory of the holiness he contemplates. “But we all beholding the glory of the Lord with open face, are transformed into the same image” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The Body and Blood of Christ

Adoration of Our Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar is, at the deepest level, an expression of hunger and thirst for justice, of an abiding hunger and thirst for the Bread of life and for the Chalice of Salvation. One who perseveres in gazing upon the Sacred Host in adoration is, in effect, saying to Our Lord: “Adjust me, adjust a multitude of souls, to the glory of Thy holiness; do what Thou must to reconcile souls to that love stronger than death with which Thou has first loved us, and with which Thou hast loved us even to the end.” Jesus,”having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end” (John 13:1).

The World Adjusted to the Church

The prayer of adoration promotes justice because it is, in a hidden but real way, the adjustment of souls and of the world to the holiness of God revealed in Christ. Those who think that justice can be brought about by the adjustment of the Church to the world are tragically mistaken; it is not the Church that must adjust herself to the world, but the world to the Church, and this adjustment is not a human achievement, it is the work of grace in the souls of the little, the hidden, the poor, and those whom the world counts as nothing. “The foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the wise; and the weak things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the strong. And the base things of the world, and the things that are contemptible, hath God chosen, and things that are not, that he might bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his sight. But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and justice, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:27–30).

In View of the Kingdom

Astonishingly, those who hunger and thirst after justice by persevering in adoration of the Hidden God, discover that their hunger and thirst is nothing in comparison to the hunger and thirst of God for souls abandoned to His divine operations. He desires nothing more than to adjust us, gently and mightily, to Himself, and this, in view of eternal life with Him in the Kingdom of Heaven.

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