Beatitudes

Beatitudini evangeliche

Fourth beatitude

My food is to do the will of my Father.
(Jn 4,34)

Blessed are those who are hungry and thirsty for justice, because they will be satisfied

Jesus, leads us to the highest steps of the Beatitudes and, according to the words of the prophet "Blessed is the man who has his strength in you and in the heart the ascensions" (Ps 83: 6), he has arranged the paths of ascent in our heart. What is the justice that concerns everyone, whose desire is offered to all those who have their gaze turned to the gospel table? Whether you are rich or poor, noble by birth or not, no condition neither adds nor removes anything from the discourse of justice.

It is necessary to apply a careful discernment of the many and various things offered to our possession, on which the desire of human nature is furious; in this way we will be able to distinguish what is nourished by what is harmful, so that what seems to be assimilated by the soul as food does not cause death and ruin instead of life. Jesus shared with us everything except sin, and was a part of us with all sufferings; he did not judge hunger as a sin, nor did he refuse to experience that good: he welcomed the instinct of nature that tends to nourishment and did not deny himself the opportunity to share a meal with friends, family and disciples.

Jesus fasted for forty days, then he became hungry; the demon, when he realized that the hunger pangs had managed to infiltrate even in him, decided to excite his instinct by proposing: "Command that these stones become bread" (Mt 4: 3). The demon still repeats today, to those who are tested by their desire, to obtain bread from the stones. It is nourished by stones who have placed bread in greed, those who have procured and accumulated goods with injustices, those who abandon themselves to tables far richer than the real necessity of life. What is hunger? It is the desire for what is needed and, when the need for nourishment disappears, what remains is one more that has no reason to be satisfied.

If you bring gold to your mouth, instead of bread, will you perhaps satisfy your need? Those looking for non-edible materials in place of food, do nothing but feed on stones. Nature expresses itself exclusively with the sensation of hunger: when the body needs "fuel", it requires food. But you listen to nature and give to your body what you are looking for or, perhaps, do you worry that your table becomes heavy with gold and silver? In this way I listen to the tempter who soothes you to crave the "stone", that is to satisfy unrestrained desires, shameless performances, sensual shows, everything that leads you to the "sequela of vices", fueling the food of debauchery. Whoever destroys temptations does not banish hunger from nature, as if it were the cause of evil, but leaves nature to manage within its own limits.

Jesus tells the disciples, after the meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well, to whom he asks to quench his thirst: "My food is to do the will of my Father" (Jn 4:34). The will of the Father wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. If He wants us to be saved, if His food is our life and if we want to be quenched by it, we now know what use to make of this disposition of the soul. We must be hungry and thirsty for the divine will, which is our salvation. Who has this hunger and this thirst attracts divine grace.

The Logos, reporting that justice is offered to those who are hungry, indicates through this form of virtue also all those who derive from it, so that equally appalled is anyone who is hungry for prudence, courage, temperance and any other action that can be called virtue. On the other hand, if all the virtues were not animated by a profound sense of justice, it would be impossible to define them as such and to maintain that they are good. In fact, one could not say that justice is foolish or reckless or licentious or the daughter of any other vice. If justice excludes all that is bad, it undoubtedly includes all good in itself. Well then, all that is according to virtue. Therefore, every virtue is indicated with the name of justice; who is hungry and thirsty of it is called blessed by Jesus, who promises the fullness of what is desired. The possession of virtue, is not measured by time nor limited by satiety, it always offers those who live according to virtue, an acquisition and an experience of the goods that are theirs. Jesus promises fullness to those who hunger for these goods, a fullness that does not weaken with satiety, but on the contrary constantly nourishes the desire for such satiation.

Of what he confesses to thirsting David, offering to God this suffering of the soul, when he says in a psalm: "My soul thirsts for God, the strong, the living; when will I go and see the face of God again? "(Ps 42: 3). David, surely introduced by the power of the Spirit to understand the magnificence of divine doctrine, foretells to himself the fullness of this appetite: "But, I, by your goodness I will see Your face, I will satisfy, awake, of your appearance"
(Ps 17.15).

Even Paul, who had tasted of the ineffable fruits of paradise, confesses that he was filled with the object of his desire, when he affirms: "It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me" (Gal 2:20) and, forgetting what he has experienced, troubled or conquered in the past, he always leans forward, like an insatiable hungry, saying: "I run towards the goal, to get to the reward that God calls us to receive up there, in Christ Jesus" ( Phil 3:13); he runs not because he has already obtained everything or considers himself perfect, but because he feels the insatiable need to conquer the fullness of divine understanding.

Blessed therefore are those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, for they will be satisfied; a hunger and a thirst for justice that will only occur in this earthly life, while their satiety will be realized in another place, where there is no sin (it is a matter of that satiety of justice that is encountered in the holy angels and saints). We who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, must continually repeat to God: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Mt 6:10). This is why Jesus, after having acclaimed that in order to attain bliss, one must be hungry and thirsty in righteousness, affirms: "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never be hungry again and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty "(Jn 6:35). Justice is the man who is fed and quenched by the presence of God. Justice is getting to understand where God's presence really stands.

Jesus, when He was hungry and, after thirty days of fasting, is tempted by the demon who stings him to turn the stones into bread, he takes the cue to assert what man must be hungry for: "not only because of bread lives man , but of every word that comes from the mouth of God "(Mt 4: 4), that is, of divine justice, because God is just. And you, who aspire to rise even higher towards the summit of the promised Kingdom, must desire to live only according to the word of God, keeping your hunger and thirst for justice always insatiable.

Might interest