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“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”

Some years ago my sister and her husband decided to tear down their 150-year-old house and rebuild it.  A  contractor was found who drew up a good set of blueprints,

and from these plans a beautiful house was designed and built.

If we are to live a worthwhile and righteous life we too need a set of blueprints, a set of guidelines for ourselves.

Early in his ministry Jesus gave us a clear set of “blueprints” or principles  for living the Christian life. These Beatitudes are not a nine-step program for ethical perfection,

or a sure plan to get us to heaven. 

But the Beatitudes challenge us to look at all people and all sides, perhaps even those we would rather not see or deal with.

From his vantage point on that mountain, Jesus saw people of his day who had been overlooked by the so-called righteous elite,

  • the poor
  • the homeless,
  • those who had committed sexual sins
  • the odd ones
  • the deformed ones

He looked at them and called them by a name no one had ever called them, a name they would never have dreamed of calling themselves.

He called them, “BLESSED!”

If we are to hunger and thirst for righteousness, this beatitude challenges us to look at all people the way Jesus did, with eyes of love.

I therefore find it outrageous and appalling that our government would even consider removing over 20 million people from government-sponsored health insurance for the poor,

at the same time cutting taxes for the wealthy.

It seems to me that like hunger and thirst, the need for basic health insurance is a fundamental right of all our citizens.

As Catholic Christians we are called to reach out to the less fortunate.  A basic tenent of Catholic Social Teaching is the preferential option for the poor.

We are told very clearly in Matthew 25 that we will be judged by what we have done to reach out to the less fortunate.

As we follow Jesus’ blueprint for our lives, may we hunger and thirst for righteousness for all our brothers and sisters. 

Blessed are you who do this,

“be glad and rejoice,

for your reward in heaven is great!”

Deacon John Collins