Blessed Are Those Who Hunger And Thirst For Righteousness
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Leo the Great, a native of Tuscany, was elected bishop of Rome in 440 and is perhaps best known for meeting with Attila the Hun in 452 and persuading him to turn back from his invasion of Italy. The nearly 100 sermons and 150 letters of his that have survived are mostly concerned with theological questions concerning the person of Jesus Christ and his role as Mediator and Saviour. Leo taught extensively on Christ's presence in the Church: in the teaching of Scripture, in the preaching of the faith, in the liturgy and in the life of the individual believer.
The Lord then goes on to say: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. This hunger is not for any bodily food, this thirst is not for any earthly drink: it is a longing to be blessed with righteousness, and by penetrating the secret of all mysteries, to be filled with the Lord himself.
Happy is the soul that longs for the food of righteousness and thirsts for this kind of drink; it would not seek such things if it had not already savored their delight. When the soul hears the voice of the Spirit saying to it through the prophet: Taste and see that the Lord is good, it has already received a portion of God's goodness, and is on fire with love, the love that gives joy of the utmost purity. It counts as nothing all that belongs to time; it is entirely consumed with desire to eat and drink the food of righteousness. The soul lays hold of the true meaning of the first and great commandment: You shall love the Lord God with your whole heart, and your whole mind and your whole strength, for to love God is nothing else than to love righteousness.
Finally, just as concern for one's neighbor is added to love of God, so the virtue of mercy is added to the desire for righteousness, as it is said: Blessed are the merciful, for God will be merciful to them.
Remember, Christian, the surpassing worth of the wisdom that is yours. Bear in mind the kind of school in which you are to learn your skills, the rewards to which you are called. Mercy itself wishes you to be merciful, righteousness itself wishes you to be righteous, so that the Creator may shine forth in his creature, and the image of God to be reflected in the mirror of the human heart as it imitates his qualities. The faith of those who live their faith is a serene faith. What you long for will be given you; what you love will be yours for ever.
Leo the Great
Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ
gives the water of eternal life:
May we always thirst for you,
the spring and source of righteousness;
through him who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Pray with us today's prayer request:
The Gafcon Primates are meeting September 14 -17. Some are in person and some are joining by Zoom. Pray for good fellowship, prayer and discussion, and for good outcomes for the proclamation of the gospel.
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