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308 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived

you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When

the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he

had many possessions. (Mt 19:16-22)

In this dialogue, Jesus reiterates the fundamental importance of the

Ten Commandments for a moral life. He also goes beyond them and calls

for a radical detachment from material goods and their distribution to

the poor. Jesus himself lived as a poor man. The attainment of fullness

of life and happiness requires fundamental attitudes and virtues such as

the one that Jesus recommends to the young man and others that Jesus

teaches throughout his public ministry as underlying the keeping of the


These attitudes and virtues were proclaimed by Jesus in his Sermon

on the Mount.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,

for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst

for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,

for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart [or pure of heart],

for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteous-


for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter

every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and

be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. (Mt 5:3-12)

These are called Beatitudes. The word


refers to a state of

deep happiness or joy. These Beatitudes are taught by Jesus as the foun-