Catholic Dictionary




The most comprehensive discourse of Jesus reported in the New Testament. It was delivered to a multitude on one of the hills near Capernaum. It extends over three chapters in Matthew's Gospel (Matthew 5, 6, 7). An abbreviated form appears also in Luke (Luke 6:20-49). The sermon outlined the kind of life that a true follower of Christ should live if he seeks the kingdom of heaven. It opens with the Beatitudes as guides to those who are to be the "salt of the earth." Jesus explained how the New Law fulfills the Old Law but carries it to a new level where love is the ultimate motive for law. He taught the Lord's Prayer as the way the disciple should approach the Father. The Golden Rule should guide people in their relations with others. Marriage is to be monogamous and the followers of Christ must be willing to carry the cross.