Reflection: ‘Righteousness’ is a damaged word today. It is almost never used outside of the compound expression ‘self-righteous’. But ‘righteousness’ is just shorthand for the good that God desires. But this could be one of two things. It can refer to the salvation God wants for the world. This is a very common use of the word “righteousness” in the book of Isaiah (e.g., 46:12-13; 51:1-8): “My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations (Isaiah 51:5). So this beatitude may just mean that those who ‘hunger’ for God’s salvation (his putting things right in the world) will certainly receive it.
Then again, ‘righteousness’ can also mean the good that God desires in us and from us. On this interpretation, Jesus is saying that those who hunger for the meekness, peacemaking, love, and so on, of the Sermon on the Mount will be satisfied. God will grant us the longing of our hearts to live according to his wisdom, to participate in his very Mind.
Question: When you are really hungry, or thirsty, you will do almost anything to be satisfied (or is that just me!?). The question of this beatitude is: Are we hungry for righteousness?