Advent 5-50: Hunger for Righteousness

Advent Day 5 of 50: Hunger

Along with the Thanksgiving celebration in America comes the tradition of packing it in with a large meal, symbolic of the first Thanksgiving meal shared by the pilgrims in the New World. And so, perhaps hunger is the last thing you’d expect to hear today, but Jesus was always one to give us the unexpected, so we follow suit.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled,” says Jesus (Matthew 5: 6) as part of the preface to his essential teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. Hunger is a physiological experience. The body, in its interest in self-preservation, signals to the brain that it’s time to eat. Hunger needs to be satisfied for the rest of the body to continue to function.

It is no different in the spiritual realm. When the emptiness which comes from meaningless pursuits sends a signal to the brain, our spiritual appetite is engaged.

We know that in the case of physical hunger the meal can vary. Some foods will give a quick fix or satisfaction, while others can be more sustaining. It is no different in the spiritual realm. There are meals, like the ones that oblige our sweet tooth, a candy bar or a pie, that will provide quick satisfaction, but leave us hungry for sustenance. Here, Jesus points to the menu item: Righteousness. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled.

Righteousness is not an abstract or a subjective concept. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Remember, that we are on a journey through Advent. We are in preparation for the revelation of righteousness that will not leave us hungry. Today, we feel hunger and also have the guarantee that we will be filled. Patience is in order for our preparation.

Let us pray from the Psalms (37)

Do not fret because of those who are evil, or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.

Cover: Luna & Gregory Beylerian for

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