God always respects human freedom and never compels anybody into a connection with him. That was the message of Pope Benedict XVI in his midday Angelus address July 10.
“God does not force us to consider in Him, but draws us to Himself throughout the truth and goodness of his incarnate Son. Love, in fact, always respects freedom,” Pope Benedict said from the balcony of his summer house at Castel Gandolfo, 15 miles southeast of Rome.
The Pope based his end upon the story told by Jesus in today’s Gospel reading: the parable of the sower who plants seed with different degrees of success.
He said that for Jesus the allegory was “autobiographical” because “it reflects the experience of Jesus himself and of his preaching” as “different effects are achieved depending on the kind of reception given to the announcement.”
Pope Benedict then attempted to answer the question consequently raised by the apostles: why does Jesus speak in parables?
The Pope said that Jesus makes a dissimilarity between the general crowd and the apostles.
“To those who have already determined for him, he can speak openly of the Kingdom of God” while to others he must speak in metaphor “to kindle precisely the decision, the conversion of heart” needed. Jesus' parables “require effort to interpret, challenging one’s aptitude but also one’s freedom.”
“After all,” said the Pope, “the real ‘Parable’ of God is Jesus himself, his person, under the form of his humanity, hiding and yet enlightening the same deity.” In this way “God does not strength us to believe in Him, but draws us to himself through the truth and goodness of his incarnate Son.”