Scripture & Catechism

1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.
14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.
15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
17 "Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.
18 For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.
19 Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
21 "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.'
22 But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire.
23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
25 Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison;
26 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.
27 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.'
28 But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
31 "It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'
32 But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33 "Again you have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.'
34 But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
37 Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil.
38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'
39 But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also;
40 and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well;
41 and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
42 Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Catechism References hide hide inline citations
226 It means making good use of created things: faith in God, the only One, leads us to use everything that is not God only insofar as it brings us closer to him, and to detach ourselves from it insofar as it turns us away from him:
My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you.
My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to you
My Lord and my God, detach me from myself to give my all to you.(St. Nicholas of Flue; cf. Mt 5:29-30; Mt 16:24-26)
326 The Scriptural expression "heaven and earth" means all that exists, creation in its entirety. It also indicates the bond, deep within creation, that both unites heaven and earth and distinguishes the one from the other: "the earth" is the world of men, while "heaven" or "the heavens" can designate both the firmament and God's own "place" - "our Father in heaven" and consequently the "heaven" too which is eschatological glory. Finally, "heaven" refers to the saints and the "place" of the spiritual creatures, the angels, who surround God.(Ps 115:16; Ps 19:2; Mt 5:16)
443 Peter could recognize the transcendent character of the Messiah's divine sonship because Jesus had clearly allowed it to be so understood. To his accusers' question before the Sanhedrin, "Are you the Son of God, then?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am."(Lk 22:70; cf. Mt 26:64; Mk 14:61-62) Well before this, Jesus referred to himself as "the Son" who knows the Father, as distinct from the "servants" God had earlier sent to his people; he is superior even to the angels.(cf. Mt 11:27; Mt 21:34-38; Mt 24:36) He distinguished his sonship from that of his disciples by never saying "our Father", except to command them: "You, then, pray like this: 'Our Father'", and he emphasized this distinction, saying "my Father and your Father".(Mt 5:48; Mt 6:8-9; Mt 7:21; Lk 11:13; Jn 20:17)
520 In all of his life Jesus presents himself as our model. He is "the perfect man",(GS 38; cf. Rom 15:5; Phil 2:5) who invites us to become his disciples and follow him. In humbling himself, he has given us an example to imitate, through his prayer he draws us to pray, and by his poverty he calls us to accept freely the privation and persecutions that may come our way.(cf. Jn 13:15; Lk 11:1; Mt 5:11-12)
544 The kingdom belongs to the poor and lowly, which means those who have accepted it with humble hearts. Jesus is sent to "preach good news to the poor";(Lk 4:18; cf. Lk 7:22) he declares them blessed, for "theirs is the kingdom of heaven."(Mt 5:3) To them - the "little ones" the Father is pleased to reveal what remains hidden from the wise and the learned.(cf. Mt 11:25) Jesus shares the life of the poor, from the cradle to the cross; he experiences hunger, thirst and privation.(cf. Mt 21:18; Mk 2:23-26; Jn 4:6 1; Jn 19:28; Lk 9:58) Jesus identifies himself with the poor of every kind and makes active love toward them the condition for entering his kingdom.(cf. Mt 25:31-46)
577 At the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus issued a solemn warning in which he presented God's law, given on Sinai during the first covenant, in light of the grace of the New Covenant: Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets: I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law, until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.(Mt 5:17-19)
581 The Jewish people and their spiritual leaders viewed Jesus as a rabbi.(cf. Jn 11:28; Jn 3:2; Mt 22:23-24, Mt 22:34-36) He often argued within the framework of rabbinical interpretation of the Law.(cf. Mt 12:5; Mt 9:12; Mk 2:23-27; Lk 6:6-8; Jn 7:22-23) Yet Jesus could not help but offend the teachers of the Law, for he was not content to propose his interpretation alongside theirs but taught the people "as one who had authority, and not as their scribes".(Mt 7:28-29) In Jesus, the same Word of God that had resounded on Mount Sinai to give the written Law to Moses, made itself heard anew on the Mount of the Beatitudes.(cf. Mt 5:1) Jesus did not abolish the Law but fulfilled it by giving its ultimate interpretation in a divine way: "You have heard that it was said to the men of old. . . But I say to you. . ."(Mt 5:33-34) With this same divine authority, he disavowed certain human traditions of the Pharisees that were "making void the word of God".(Mk 7:13; cf. Mk 3:8)
592 Jesus did not abolish the Law of Sinai, but rather fulfilled it(cf. Mt 5:17-19) with such perfection(cf. Jn 8:46) that he revealed its ultimate meaning(cf. Mt 5:33) and redeemed the transgressions against it(cf. Heb 9:15).
678 Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgement of the Last Day in his preaching.(cf. Dan 7:10; Joel 3-4; Mal 3:19; Mt 3:7-12) Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light.(cf. Mk 12:38-40; Lk 12:1-3; Jn 3:20-21; Rom 2:16; 1 Cor 4:5) Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God's grace as nothing be condemned.(cf. Mt 11:20-24; Mt 12:41-42) Our attitude to our neighbour will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love.(cf. Mt 5:22; Mt 7:1-5) On the Last Day Jesus will say: "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."(Mt 25:40)
764 "This Kingdom shines out before men in the word, in the works and in the presence of Christ."(LG 5) To welcome Jesus' word is to welcome "the Kingdom itself."(LG 5) The seed and beginning of the Kingdom are the "little flock" of those whom Jesus came to gather around him, the flock whose shepherd he is.(Lk 12:32; cf. Mt 10:16; Mt 26:31; Jn 10:1-21) They form Jesus' true family.(cf. Mt 12:49) To those whom he thus gathered around him, he taught a new "way of acting" and a prayer of their own.(cf. Mt 5- 6)
782 The People of God is marked by characteristics that clearly distinguish it from all other religious, ethnic, political, or cultural groups found in history:

- It is the People of God: God is not the property of any one people. But he acquired a people for himself from those who previously were not a people: "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation."(1 Pet 2:9)
- One becomes a member of this people not by a physical birth, but by being "born anew," a birth "of water and the Spirit,"(Jn 3:3-5) that is, by faith in Christ, and Baptism.
- This People has for its Head Jesus the Christ (the anointed, the Messiah). Because the same anointing, the Holy Spirit, flows from the head into the body, this is "the messianic people."
- "The status of this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple."
- "Its law is the new commandment to love as Christ loved us."(cf. Jn 13:34) This is the "new" law of the Holy Spirit.(Rom 8:2; Gal 5:25)
- Its mission is to be salt of the earth and light of the world.(cf. Mt 5:13-16) This people is "a most sure seed of unity, hope, and salvation for the whole human race."
-Its destiny, finally, "is the Kingdom of God which has been begun by God himself on earth and which must be further extended until it has been brought to perfection by him at the end of time."(LG 9 # 2)
1034 Jesus often speaks of "Gehenna" of "the unquenchable fire" reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.(cf. Mt 5:22, Mt 5:29; Mt 10:28; Mt 13:42, Mt 13:50; Mk 9:43-48) Jesus solemnly proclaims that he "will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,"(Mt 13:41-42) and that he will pronounce the condemnation: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!"(Mt 25:41)
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1716 The Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus' preaching. They take up the promises made to the chosen people since Abraham. the Beatitudes fulfill the promises by ordering them no longer merely to the possession of a territory, but to the Kingdom of heaven: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.(Mt 5:3-12)
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1967 The Law of the Gospel "fulfills," refines, surpasses, and leads the Old Law to its perfection.(cf. Mt 5:17-19) In the Beatitudes, the New Law fulfills the divine promises by elevating and orienting them toward the "kingdom of heaven." It is addressed to those open to accepting this new hope with faith - the poor, the humble, the afflicted, the pure of heart, those persecuted on account of Christ and so marks out the surprising ways of the Kingdom.
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2053 To this first reply Jesus adds a second: "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."(Mt 19:21) This reply does not do away with the first: following Jesus Christ involves keeping the Commandments. the Law has not been abolished,(cf. Mt 5:17) but rather man is invited to rediscover it in the person of his Master who is its perfect fulfillment. In the three synoptic Gospels, Jesus' call to the rich young man to follow him, in the obedience of a disciple and in the observance of the Commandments, is joined to the call to poverty and chastity.(cf. Mt 19:6-12, Mt 19:21, Mt 19:23-29) The evangelical counsels are inseparable from the Commandments.
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2763 All the Scriptures - the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms - are fulfilled in Christ.(cf. Lk 24:44) The Gospel is this "Good News." Its first proclamation is summarized by St. Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount;(cf. Mt 5 - Mt 7) The prayer to our Father is at the center of this proclamation. It is in this context that each petition bequeathed to us by the Lord is illuminated:
The Lord's Prayer is the most perfect of prayers.... In it we ask, not only for all the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer not only teaches us to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them.(St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 83, 9)
2792 Finally, if we pray the Our Father sincerely, we leave individualism behind, because the love that we receive frees us from it. The "our" at the beginning of the Lord's Prayer, like the "us" of the last four petitions, excludes no one. If we are to say it truthfully, our divisions and oppositions have to be overcome.
2821 This petition is taken up and granted in the prayer of Jesus which is present and effective in the Eucharist; it bears its fruit in new life in keeping with the Beatitudes.
2828 "Give us": The trust of children who look to their Father for everything is beautiful. "He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." He gives to all the living "their food in due season." Jesus teaches us this petition, because it glorifies our Father by acknowledging how good he is, beyond all goodness.
2841 This petition is so important that it is the only one to which the Lord returns and which he develops explicitly in the Sermon on the Mount.[r 137] This crucial requirement of the covenant mystery is impossible for man. But "with God all things are possible."[r 138]
2842 This "as" is not unique in Jesus' teaching: "You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect"; "Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful"; "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another."[r 139] It is impossible to keep the Lord's commandment by imitating the divine model from outside; there has to be a vital participation, coming from the depths of the heart, in the holiness and the mercy and the love of our God. Only the Spirit by whom we live can make "ours" the same mind that was in Christ Jesus.[r 140] Then the unity of forgiveness becomes possible and we find ourselves "forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave" us.[r 141]
2844 Christian prayer extends to the forgiveness of enemies,[r 144] transfiguring the disciple by configuring him to his Master. Forgiveness is a high-point of Christian prayer; only hearts attuned to God's compassion can receive the gift of prayer. Forgiveness also bears witness that, in our world, love is stronger than sin. The martyrs of yesterday and today bear this witness to Jesus. Forgiveness is the fundamental condition of the reconciliation of the children of God with their Father and of men with one another.[r 145]
2845 There is no limit or measure to this essentially divine forgiveness,146 whether one speaks of "sins" as in Luke (11:4), or "debts" as in Matthew (6:12). We are always debtors: "Owe no one anything, except to love one another."[r 147] The communion of the Holy Trinity is the source and criterion of truth in every relationship. It is lived out in prayer, above all in the Eucharist.[r 148] God does not accept the sacrifice of a sower of disunion, but commands that he depart from the altar so that he may first be reconciled with his brother. For God can be appeased only by prayers that make peace. To God, the better offering is peace, brotherly concord, and a people made one in the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.[r 149]