“You have now heard the gospel that you are accepted by God where you are, that he put you there. You’re in your world to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth—and it is God who makes that possible. You accept the fact that you are finite, that you make mistakes, that you’re not perfect. And in so doing you get on with the work that God has appointed to flow through your life as you become the person he intended you to be.
You see, God has very high aims for you and me. His aim is that each one of us becomes the kind of person he can empower to do what we want. I am going to say that again. You and I are being trained and cultivated and grown to the point where God can empower us to do what we want. Now you recognize that a lot of work has to be done on our “wanter” before that can happen. But that is what life is about. And that’s what we are learning to do as disciples of Jesus Christ” (Dallas Willard in the Renovare Weekly Digest for April 26, 2017).
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“Faith is not a commodity God pours into us but a condition that wells up in us as we go step by sometimes fearful step into the steady practice of the Jesus way. The bigger the step, the weaker in faith we are apt to feel. And the weaker we feel, the more apt we are to experience God’s capacity. Doing what we feel we cannot do, but doing it anyway, proves that what ultimately matters is not so much our faith in Jesus as his faith in us. We can do what is ours to do because God has the capacity to see us through” Kayla McClurg in Sea-
son and Scripture: Luke, Ordinary Time C).
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The key to the fourth Beatitude lies in understanding what the word “righteousness” means. To our post-Puritan, post-Victorian ears, righteousness is a synonym for virtue. It means being moral, behaving correctly. But in Israel of Jesus’ times, righteousness was something much more dynamic. Visualize it as a force field: an energy-charged sphere of holy presence. To be “in the righteousness of God” (as Old Testament writers are fond of saying) means to be directly connected to this vibrational field, to be anchored within God’s own aliveness. There is nothing subtle about the experience; it is as fierce and intransigent a bond as picking up a downed electrical wire. To “hunger and thirst after righteousness,” then, speaks to this intensity of connectedness.
Jesus promises that when the hunger arises within you to find your own deepest aliveness within God’s aliveness, it will be satisfied—in fact, the hunger itself is a sign that the bond is already in place. (Cynthia Bourgeault in Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations from her book, The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind—A New Perspective on Christ and His Message).