Gospel Morality
" There is no doubt that through the reading of the Sacred Scriptures
the soul is set aflame in God and becomes purified from all vices." -St. Jerome

Love Your Neighbor

Greatest Commandment

Other Commandments Ratified by Christ

 What is love?

Radical Morality: Matthew

Radical Morality: Luke

Evil Intentions Defile

Some New Testament Sin Lists

How to understand the word "love".
 
Love one another
John 13:34 "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. "
 
John 15:12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. "
 
John 15:17 "I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another."
 
Rom. 12:10 "[L]ove one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor."
 
Rom. 13:8 "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law."
 
1Ths. 4:9 "Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; "
 
1Pet. 1:22 "Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. "
 
1John 3:11 "For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another."
 
1John 3:14 "We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. "
 
1John 3:23 "And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us."
 
1John 4:7 "Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. "
 
1John 4:11 "Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. "
 
1John 4:12 "No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us."
 
2John 5 "But now, dear lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another."
 
1John 4:20 Those who say, "I love God," and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.
 
Love Your Neighbor
 

Matt. 19:19 "...You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Also, Matt. 22:39, Mark 12:31.

Luke 10:27 He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."

Rom. 13:9 The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet"; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Rom. 13:10 "Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law."

Gal. 5:14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

James 2:8 "You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Greatest Commandment
 

Matt. 22:34 " When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" 37 He said to him, " 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

 

What Is Love?

 

1Cor. 13:4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
 
Other Commandments Ratified by Christ
 

Matt. 19:16 "Then someone came to him and said, 'Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?...' 'If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.' 18 He said to him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; 19 Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"

 
 
Jesus Radical Morality
 

 

Luke

 

Luke 6:20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
 
Luke 6:21 "Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. "Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
 
Luke 6:22 "Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

Luke 6:24 "But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

Luke 6:25 "Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. "Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.

Luke 6:26 "Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

Luke 6:27 "But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Luke 6:32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Luke 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back."

 

 

Matthew

 

Matt. 5:1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

 

Matt. 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matt. 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Matt. 5:5 "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Matt. 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Matt. 5:7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Matt. 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Matt. 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Matt. 5:10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matt. 5:11 "Blessed are you when people 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 in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 
***
 
Matt. 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder'; and 'whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.' 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, 'You fool,' you will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. ...

Matt. 5:27 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell. ...

Matt. 5:31 "It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' 32 But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery....

Matt. 5:33 "Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.' 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 your word be 'Yes, Yes' or 'No, No'; anything more than this comes from the evil one....

Matt. 5:38 "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 an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. ...

Matt. 5:43 "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 children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 
***
 
Matt. 6:19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matt. 6:22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; 23 but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

Matt. 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

 
***
Matt. 6:34 "So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.

Matt. 7:1 "Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2 For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3 Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your neighbor, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' while the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye.

 

Matt. 7:12 "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. "

 
 
Evil Intentions Defile
 
Matt. 15:19 "For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person..."
 

Mark 7:20 And he said, "It is what comes out of a person that defiles. 21 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22 adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person."


Some New Testiment Sin Lists

 

Gal. 5: 19 "Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."
 
Col. 3:5 "Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. 7 These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. 8 But now you must get rid of all such things &emdash;anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices 10 and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. 11 In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all! "

 

Rom. 1:28 "And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. 29 They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 They know God's decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die &emdash;yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them."

 

James 3:13 "Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. 16 For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.
4:1 Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2 You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."
 
1Pet. 2:1 "Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander." 

1Tim. 6: 3 "Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, 4 is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, 5 and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth..."

 
1Cor. 6:9 "Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites*, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers, none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. "

 

1Tim. 1:8 "Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. 9 This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, 10 fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching..."
 

Rev. 21:6 "Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

 

Consequences of wrong doing: Romans 2:9 "Yes, affliction and distress will come upon every human being who does evil..." See our page on the Catholic teaching on Hell. For a fuller treatment of Catholic teaching on sin see Types and Gravity of Sin.

 


The word "love" in English has an extensive variety of meanings, not all of which are useful in a biblical context. A key to understanding the word as it is used in the New Testament can be found in the passage where love is joined to sacrifice, to selfless giving: John 15:13 "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." See: Eph. 5:2 ,1John 4:10. In this sense love means the opposite of selfishness. See "benevolence" and "disinterestedness" in the thesaurus. Recall that the Greek language has a separate word, "eros", for the sexual form of love from which we get the word "erotic". This is not what is meant when the Gospel talks about love of God and neighbor. The word "love" when used in the bible's moral teaching can and does have all the non-sexual and non-romantic meanings towards God and neighbor, such as: "A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness." (Dictionary.com: see also love at the English Dictionary). However, morality usually talks about decisions on how to act rather than feelings. Therefore, the command requires us to think, to use a rational process to decide how to act with love in a situation rather than acting with love when we have feelings of love. Feelings come and go. We may love our parents but not feel very loving sometimes especially when they require us to do something we don't want to do. God as parent may evoke the same "feeling" and yet demands the same response, i.e. that we love Him anyway.
 

"Phil. 2:2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others." NRSV.

 

The scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyrighted 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.
For Catholic Scripture texts you can read the New American Bible (best choice), and the Douay-Rheims Version.
*"sodomite: someone who engages in anal copulation especially a male who engages in anal copulation with another male." From the English dictionary. The word Sodomite is derived from Sodom mentioned in Genesis. This story is complex and probably refers to more than homosexuality. For more on this you can see The Sin of Sodom.

 Be sure to compare the New Testament texts with the Moral Teaching of the Twelve Apostles from the Didache.

 


 

An Examination of Conscience (traditional Catholic).
 
Catholic Belief
Awaken to Prayer
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