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Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes

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Lesson Overview

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In this week鈥檚 Gospel passage, we read part of Jesus鈥 most well-known teaching: the Sermon on the Mount. In the first part of this long sermon, Jesus teaches His followers how to be truly happy or fulfilled by delivering the Beatitudes. In this lesson, students will consider Jesus鈥 teaching about happiness and complete a spot-the-difference activity.

Lesson Materials

Directions

  1. Have students read the Gospel passage for the week and complete the focus questions.
  2. Review and discuss the answers when complete.
  3. Have students work individually to complete the Beatitudes activity. Students will choose three of the Beatitudes Jesus taught in the Sermon on Mount from this week鈥檚 Gospel, read the description for each Beatitude, and then answer the reflection questions.
  4. When your students are complete, ask for volunteers to share and discuss their responses.

Answer Key

Focus Questions

  1. He went up a mountain.
  2. This teaching (the Beatitudes) is what we must do or be like in order to be truly happy or to be fulfilled.
  3. Accept reasoned answers. The teachings of the Beatitudes are the opposite of what we typically think brings happiness. Though the things of the world may bring us temporary happiness (money, power, fame, possessions, and so forth), they will never completely fulfill or complete us. Only God and the things of God will make us truly happy.
  4. Jesus gives this warning because it is true. Being a follower of Christ means going against what the culture says is popular or will make one happy. It means standing up for truth and justice in spite of opposition, threats, and torture. Being a follower of Christ also means speaking out and taking action against anything that is contrary to the Good News of Christ, even unto death. Christians should rejoice and be glad because even though they may be persecuted in this life, their reward for faithfulness will be in Heaven.

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