" A certain man made a great supper and invited many...." Now who would decline such a gracious invitation--unless his reason for doing so was very compelling, such as "I have just been run over by an ox cart and lie in bed a-dying....I beg to be excused." For surely it is an insult to the host--who has provided the supper free of charge--when everyone declines on flimsy pretexts. I am reminded of a friend who said he could not attend my wedding because he had to help his father install a water softener--well, I was rather hurt.
The excuses given in this parable are just as lame. It seems that none of the guests invited to the great supper had legitimate excuses not to attend. But of course in the context of the parable, the stakes are much higher. The Great Supper is the Kingdom of Heaven, and all the faithful who have been baptized into Christ are invited. But if we were truly serious about accepting this invitation, we should gladly devote our whole life to serving Christ and His Church, denying ourselves and taking up the cross of sacrificial suffering.
Instead, we all too often make excuses why it is impossible for us to make such a total commitment--at least for now. We have too many worldly concerns that need to be attended to--and they just can't wait! And so we spend much of our lives in a vain and futile attempt to secure our place in the earthly kingdom of man.
Yet we are commanded by Christ to "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these other things will be added unto you." And surely God is true to His word. So let us, at least for today, "lay aside all earthly cares, that we may receive the King of all."