Jesus continues to describe the character of those in the kingdom of God. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled". To me, hunger and thirst are our greatest most powerful needs and desires. I have felt hungry, when I say that I feel ashamed, never in my life have I truly known hunger, and I have been thirsty from work, but again I never have been very far from clean water. The need to receive physical nourishment is absolutely essential to sustain life. Jesus is equating this human experience to spiritual reality. There are some, Jesus is saying, that hunger and thirst for God more than all else, you will be filled, he says.
The Psalmist of long ago wrote, "As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?" (Psalm 42:1-2). To experience communion with God is the desire of the Psalm, to "behold the face of God", this certainly will be true one day literally, but isn't it also true now? When we are hungering for God we are looking for Him always and everywhere. I see God's work all around me, in the flowers, the blue sky, and the gentle noise the wind chimes make. I see God's goodness in the smile of a stranger I never will see again. I am being filled and nourished as Jesus said. I think this beatitude is about our priorities, what do we thirst after above all else? As Isaiah wrote long ago "Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear and come to Me; listen, so that you may live" (Isaiah 55:2-3).