As Jesus and his disciples went on their way, a man said to him, «I will follow you wherever you go». Jesus said to him, «Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head». To another Jesus said, «Follow me». But he answered, «Let me go back now, for first I want to bury my father». And Jesus said to him, «Let the dead bury their dead; as for you, leave them and proclaim the kingdom of God». Another said to him, «I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say goodbye to my family». And Jesus said to him, «Whoever has put his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God».
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
Put to death what is earthly in you,
by Origen of Alexandria (185-254 AD)
"The statement 'Let the dead bury their dead' implies spiritually: Waste no more time on dead things. You are to 'put to death therefore what is earthly in you: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and covetousness, which is idolatry' (Colossians 3:5). These things therefore are dead. Cast them away from you. Cut them off as you would cut off gangrenous flesh to prevent the contamination of the whole body, so that you may not hear it said, 'Leave the dead [spiritually dead] to bury their dead' (Matthew 8:22). But to some it seems abnormal and contradictory that the Savior does not allow the disciple to bury his father. It seems inhumane. But Jesus does not in fact forbid people from burying the dead, but rather he puts before this the preaching of the kingdom of heaven, which makes people alive (Luke 9:60). As for burying the body, there were many people who could have done this." (excerpt from Fragment 161)