H/T: Mode of Life, Blog of Archbishop Stylianos of Australia (here). For the gospel on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers and those who refused to attend the Great Supper:
Now these were the three worldly excuses as mentioned in the parable:
The first person said: ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it’ (Lk 14:18). The piece of ground here denotes our worldly possessions, the pride of life and the competitive jealousy that comes with governing these assets (our houses, our investments, our holiday houses, new car etc). This person wished to feel like a ruler over these material things and not to have a master, these possessions were a hindrance to their humility, which is required to approach the magnitude of the invitation by God.
The second person said: ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen and I’m going to test them’ (Lk 14:19). The five yoke of oxen represent our five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch) – these senses are the eye of the physical body where we engage with creation, they are stimulated only with what is external to our body. Through these senses of the flesh, earthly things are pursued. Therefore they represent the lusts of the eye: evil desires, uncleanness, passion – this person said: ‘I’m going to test them’, meaning, the curiosity of our senses (e.g. overindulging and feeding the senses with all the entertainment in the world – concerts, casino, pokies, TV, Video games, theatre, movies, shopping, dinners, holidays, parties, dates, social flirtation). Thus, this person represents those who merely follow the things of the senses, and neglect the spiritual senses, the things of God in one’s heart.
The third person said: ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come’ (Lk 14:20). This person represents those who take pleasure in the delights of the flesh, the lusts of the flesh (fornication), which hinders many.