But become makers of the message -
and not just hearers misleading yourselves
Ampleforth Abbey and College
(c) 2004, Target Technical, York, UK
42N 6 49 o de akousas kai mh poihsas omoios estin anqrwpw oikodomhsanti oikian epi thn ghn cwris qemeliou h proserhxen o potamos kai euqus sunepesen kai egeneto to rhgma ths oikias ekeinhs mega
42N 6 49 "But the one hearing and not 'making' is alike to a person building a house upon the earth without a foundation - which the river tore against, and immediately it collapsed. And the ruin came about of that house - a great (ruin)."
The river mentioned in the gospel may not be the one lying in the foreground of the picture above (the Holbeck, a tributary of the River Rye). Instead it may be the mythical river introduced at Gn.2:10. Unlike the forbidden 'tree of (eternal) life' [Gn.3:3], this river bears no literal fruit nor seed - but it does have four 'branches'. These appear to be the 'branches' of 'the tree for knowing the knowledge of good and evil', itself introduced in the foregoing verse.
Today this 'college' is administered in the revived tradition of 'Business with Benedict'. Unfortunately the vital knowledge of good and evil was extinguished in the western church before the time when Benedict was born. And then "... their hearts were petrified - for indeed they had not understood about the breads" [see Mk.6:52; 8:17]. Many similar houses have been built upon the earth. Their ruins lie all around us, indeed so prominent in the English landscape that they constitute a tourist attraction in their own right.
A building surveyor is trained to identify structural problems, an expert on foundations, on rivers, and on floods. In scripture he is the one who 'hears the sayings' - and then sets himself to 'make them' [Lk.6:47; Jm.1:22]. On occasion his advice can prove invaluable. But work on faulty foundations is always difficult. Some houses cannot be saved.