If you haven’t read the previous posts in this series on the beatitudes, click the category “Beatitudes” and start from the beginning! No repeated info. One beatitude builds on the others!
Those who are hungering and thirsting for righteousness in their own lives are — in that very act of hungering and thirsting, in that very anguish of soul and body (for this involves the entirety of who we are) — already experiencing the righteousness of God in their own lives. It’s not a future tense thing in this case, so, that means that this beatitude is not about that. It’s about hungering and thirsting for what God knows to be just and good to be manifest in the lives of everyone here on this earth. Ain’t gonna happen here for everyone, is it? No. Not even for our Lord, who was crucified by the unjust, by those lacking in the righteousness He Himself would provide to them in virtue of that very act of injustice He suffered, having the right in justice to have mercy on us for taking on what we deserve although He was innocent: Father, forgive them… And in this way He provides righteousness.
The extremity of our desire for righteousness, grinding us down to the very core of our being, starving and thirsting to death without this righteousness upon this earth, is answered by our Lord with His provision for us of Himself by way of His Body and Blood, the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, literally sating our hunger and thirst by being united with His hunger and thirst for us being sanctified in righteousness.
But is it not true that we are to help each other out? Some are way ahead of us, some way behind. But we can always help all these to know Him who is Righteousness, no? We want to share the greatest love of our lives with others, no? This rather in-your-face friendship with our Lord has to be shared with others, no? But everyone has free will, and only come to the Lord at different times, so that we are always in a bit of anguish, of hungering and thirsting.
So, the future tense: We will be utterly sated. We will see it all in heaven. Everyone there will be righteous, perfectly following the will of Mary’s Son, in all goodness and kindness. The rejoicing, the blessedness, will be at fever pitch. But the blessedness is in the present tense. It all starts here, first of all with our own righteousness. Then we want to help others know our Lord more.
A good first step in all this is ourselves hungering and thirsting for righteousness so much that we not only go to confession ourselves, regularly, but we encourage, even bring others to confession with us. — “Hey, I’ll buy you lunch across town.” And while going, you say, “Let’s just stop in here for just a second. I have to talk with the good padre.” You go to confession. You pray for your friend to take the opportunity, but no more. A good example was set. That good example might be taken when you’re not there, even if you get ribbed for having done what you did for quite a while. When people are following their consciences formed by the Church, they will also follow the natural law in their public, even political lives, will they not? Be not afraid. Go to confession and save the world!