15 One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 Then Jesus said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. 17 At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ 20 Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22 And the slave said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.’ 23 Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.’”
Human beings love to make excuse. We constantly tell God that we would love to do what He wants us to do, …BUT… there is something in the way. Something we need to do first, or something that prevents us from carrying out his wishes. This is exactly what Jesus is addressing in his parable here- our love of, and our capacity for, excuses. Here is another:
21 Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
I call this “The Great But….”
Of course, it isn’t always restricted to requests made by God (or even commands). Oftentimes I see it in relation to matters which are connected to the Faith, but not so overt as a divine command. IN particular, when I relate some of the problems going on with the Church I will often get a lot of agreement from more Traditional minded folk. However, once I start to talk about possible solutions to the various problems ailing the Church I hear that “But…” come up again and again. As a result, nothing ever seems to get done. Everyone is too busy offering qualifications and excuses.
Frankly, it is tiring and frustrating to me. I can only imagine what it is like for God to hear that time and time and time and time again. That alone should be motivation for me to not do that the Lord- that instead of offering an excuse when he asks something of me, to instead do it as speedily as possible.