Wedding Lectionary: Matthew 7:21, 24-29

The Sermon on the Mount contributes three possible Gospel readings for the wedding liturgy. The Beatitudes and the following Scripture provide the bookends of that text:

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’

     will enter the Kingdom of heaven,

     but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.


“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them

     will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.

The rain fell, the floods came,

     and the winds blew and buffeted the house.

But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.

The Lectionary gives a shortened option: the text above. A couple or priest may choose to add the following conclusion to the parable of the two foundations:

And everyone who listens to these words of mine

     but does not act on them

     will be like a fool who built his house on sand.

The rain fell, the floods came,

     and the winds blew and buffeted the house.

And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”


When Jesus finished these words,

     the crowds were astonished at his teaching,

     for he taught them as one having authority,

     and not as their scribes.


We read of two different comparisons in this passage. Did you catch them? In verse 21, the contrast is between those who say and do the Word. In verse 26, it is between hearing and doing. As we apply these to the marital relationship, they each have relevance.

Those who look for differences between the sexes (some might say complementarity) have latched on to the approaches of men and women to their relationships. Men, it is said, express love by doing. Men, it is said, like to solve problems, accomplish things, and get to the bottom of it. Women, it is said, express love by relating. Women, it is said, place high value on sharing, communicating, and strengthening personal bonds.

I don’t know that I want to get into the discussion of men’s and women’s wiring or social conditioning, or whatever. But in a love relationship, all three are important: saying, hearing, and doing.

Knowing my wife’s personality, sometimes she wants me to just listen. Not solve problems. Not “do” anything. We also like to hear and be heard.

It seems Jesus is urging an integration in his discourse. It is important for all of us to say, to hear, and to do. We should balance action with profession and with contemplation. Does an engaged couple have a good sense of this integration? Or perhaps they need to develop one or more of these skills with each other. If so, then this choice for a wedding gospel would seem to be a good one.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Rite of Marriage, Scripture. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Wedding Lectionary: Matthew 7:21, 24-29

  1. José Arantes Lima says:

    Very good explanations about Matthew 7:21, 24-29.
    I’m a brazilian Roman catholic permanent deacon (married), in São Paulo state and I’ll assist to a marriage between an australian bridegroom and a brazilian bride. So I’l have to say some words to them. Pease let me use your ideas, mainly about “saying, hearing and doing”.
    God bless you.
    Thank you for this.

    Deacon José Arantes Lima

  2. Ardis says:

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    to us, keep it up.

  3. Pingback: Washing Wedded Feet | Catholic Sensibility

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