by Sr Anita Rolenc, ND
Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Carefully read Zephaniah and 1 Corinthians. Both readings lay the foundation for the Beatitudes Jesus states in Matthew’s Gospel. Zephaniah urges us to seek justice and humility. St. Paul reminds us that God chooses the weak, the poor, the foolish ones so that whatever good these “lowly” ones perform is the result of God’s grace and power.
Then, Jesus challenges us to practice the Beatitudes, a step beyond the observance of the 10 Commandments. Notice the promise attached to each “Blessed are...” A promise of Jesus will be fulfilled because God is trustworthy. That’s a guarantee we cannot pass up!
For several years, I taught religion to students in grades 7, 8, 10 and 11 at St. Mary’s High School in O’Neill. In order for them to remember the Beatitudes, I devised this acronym: CHMMMPPP (pronounced CHIMP): clean of heart, hunger and thirst for justice, meek, merciful, mourn, peacemakers, persecuted, and poor in spirit. The Beatitudes in the acronym are not in order according the Matthew’s Gospel, but the students quickly learned the list of eight and remembered it years later!