The excuse of new property (Lk 14:18-14:18)

“But they all alike

Began

To make excuses.

The first said to him.

‘I have bought

A piece of land.

I must go out

To see it.

Please!

Accept my regrets!”

 

καὶ ἤρξαντο ἀπὸ μιᾶς πάντες παραιτεῖσθαι. ὁ πρῶτος εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἀγρὸν ἠγόρασα, καὶ ἔχω ἀνάγκην ἐξελθὼν ἰδεῖν αὐτόν· ἐρωτῶ σε, ἔχε με παρῃτημένον.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they all began to make excuses, to excuse themselves (καὶ ἤρξαντο ἀπὸ μιᾶς πάντες παραιτεῖσθαι).  The first one said to the slave (ὁ πρῶτος εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he had just bought a piece of land (Ἀγρὸν ἠγόρασα).  Thus, he had to go out to see it (καὶ ἔχω ἀνάγκην ἐξελθὼν ἰδεῖν αὐτόν).  Therefore, he politely (ἐρωτῶ σε) wanted to be excused from going to the banquet (ἔχε με παρῃτημένον).  Matthew, chapter 22:3-5, said that they would not come or did not wish to come (καὶ οὐκ ἤθελον ἐλθεῖν), without giving excuses.  Now, this was a problem.  They have refused an invitation to the wedding banquet of God, the Father, the king.  He had sent his slaves, the prophets or the apostles, to call them, but they still did not want to come to the wedding feast.  In fact, Matthew said that the invitees made light of these inviting slaves.  They disregarded or disrespected (οἱ δὲ ἀμελήσαντες) the invitation.  They simply went on with their daily lives.  They went (ἀπῆλθον) either to their own farm field (ὃς μὲν εἰς τὸν ἴδιον ἀγρόν), or to their trading business (ὃς δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν ἐμπορίαν αὐτοῦ).  They were too busy to go to a wedding feast.  Have you ever been too busy to go to a wedding reception?

Jesus prays (Mk 14:35-14:35)

“Going a little farther,

Jesus threw himself

On the ground.

He prayed that,

If it were possible,

That this hour might pass

From him.”

 

καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν ἔπιπτεν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, καὶ προσηύχετο ἵνα εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν παρέλθῃ ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ ἡ ὥρα,

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:39.  In Luke, chapter 22:41, it is somewhat similar, while in John, chapter 22, there were no indications of this prayer in the garden.  Mark recounted that Jesus went a little farther away (καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν).  He threw himself on the ground (ἔπιπτεν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  Then he prayed (καὶ προσηύχετο), but not explicitly to the Father, as in Matthew.  He said that he wondered if it was possible (ἵνα εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν) that this hour might pass from him or be disregarded (παρέλθῃ ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ ἡ ὥρα).  This was slightly different from what Matthew had Jesus say, since he did not emphasize the hour as here.

Jesus prays to his Father (Mt 26:39-26:39)

“Going a little farther,

Jesus threw himself

On the ground,

Face down.

He prayed.

‘My Father!

If it be possible,

Let this cup

Pass from me!

Nevertheless,

Not what I want,

But what you want.’”

 

καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ προσευχόμενος καὶ λέγων Πάτερ μου, εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν, παρελθάτω ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο· πλὴν οὐχ ὡς ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλ’ ὡς σύ.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:35-36.  In Luke, chapter 22:41-42, it is somewhat similar, while in John, chapter 22, there are no indications of this prayer in the garden.  Both Mark and Matthew recounted that Jesus went a little farther away (καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν).  He fell on his face (ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ), throwing himself on the ground.  Then he prayed to his Father (προσευχόμενος καὶ λέγων Πάτερ μου).  He said that he wondered if it was possible (εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν) that this drinking cup could pass from him or be disregarded (παρελθάτω ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο).  However, he was willing to do whatever the Father wanted, because his will was second to his Father (πλὴν οὐχ ὡς ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλ’ ὡς σύ).  Clearly, Jesus subordinated his will to the will of his Father.

They refuse the second invitation (Mt 22:5-22:5)

“But they made light of it.

They went away,

One to his own farm,

Another to his trading business.”

 

οἱ δὲ ἀμελήσαντες ἀπῆλθον, ὃς μὲν εἰς τὸν ἴδιον ἀγρόν, ὃς δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν ἐμπορίαν αὐτοῦ·

 

This refusal has more details in Luke, chapter 14:18-20.  Jesus said that they made up specific excuses on why they could not go to the wedding banquet.  But Matthew said that they made light of them, disregarded or disrespected (οἱ δὲ ἀμελήσαντες) this second invitation.  They simply went on with their daily life, they went (ἀπῆλθον) one to his own farm or field (ὃς μὲν εἰς τὸν ἴδιον ἀγρόν), and another to his trading business (ὃς δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν ἐμπορίαν αὐτοῦ).  They were too busy to go to a wedding feast.

The wicked priests (Ezek 22:26-22:26)

“The Jerusalem priests

Have done violence

To my teaching.

They have profaned

My holy things.

They have made

No distinction

Between the holy

With the common.

Neither have they

Taught the difference

Between the unclean

With the clean.

They have disregarded

My Sabbath.

Thus I am profaned

Among them.”

Even the priests in Jerusalem were doing violence to the teaching of Yahweh. They had profaned his holy things, since they were not making any distinction between the holy things and the common things. They did not distinguish between the clean and the unclean items. They disregarded the Sabbath practices. Thus they profaned Yahweh among themselves.

Senseless dreams (Sir 34:1-34:8)

“The senseless have vain hopes.

The senseless have false hopes.

Dreams give wings to fools.

As one who catches at a shadow,

As one who pursues the wind,

So is anyone who believes in dreams.

What is seen in dreams

Is but a reflection.

It is like a face

Looking at itself.

From an unclean thing

What can be clean?

From something false,

What can be true?

Divinations are unreal.

Omens are unreal.

Dreams are unreal.

Like a woman in labor,

The mind has fantasies.

Unless they are by intervention

From the Most High,

Pay no attention to them.

Dreams have deceived many.

Those who put their hope in them

Have failed.

Without such deceptions,

The law will be fulfilled.

Wisdom is complete

In the mouth of the faithful.”

Sirach takes on the role of dreams. The dreams of Joseph in Egypt played a major role in the Genesis story. However, Sirach seems to point holes in theory of dreams. He believes that the dreams of the senseless fools are in vain. They give false hope to these fools. They are like trying to catch a shadow or a gust of wind as they easily disappear. A dream is nothing more than a reflection of yourself. Your dreams are nothing more than looking at yourself. How can anything good or clean come from an unclean person? No truth can come from falsehood. Dreams are like unreal divinations and omens. They are like the fantasies of a woman in labor. Unless they are sent from the Most High God, dreams should be disregarded. Many people have been deceived by dreams. Sirach believes that the law and wisdom are more important than dreams.

The punishment of the unjust (Wis 3:10-3:13)

“But the ungodly will be punished.

As their reasoning deserves,

They disregarded the righteous.

They rebelled against the Lord.

Whoever despises wisdom,

Whoever despises instruction,

Are miserable.

Their hope is vain.

Their labors are unprofitable.

Their works are useless.

Their wives are foolish.

Their children are evil.

Their offspring are accursed.”

The ungodly, unjust ones (ἀσεβεῖς) will be punished because they disregarded the righteous. They rebelled against the Lord (τοῦ Κυρίου ἀποστάντες). Whoever despises wisdom and instruction (σοφίαν γὰρ καὶ παιδείαν) will be miserable. Their hope is useless. Their labors are not profitable. Their wives are foolish (αἱ γυναῖκες αὐτῶν ἄφρονες) and their children are evil (πονηρὰ τὰ τέκνα αὐτῶν). They will have accursed offspring (ἐπικατάρατος ἡ γένεσις αὐτῶν).