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Monday, July 11, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 10 JUL 2011 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI appeared at the balcony overlooking the central courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered there. The Pope is spending the summer months at his residence in Castelgandolfo.

  The Pope focused his remarks on today's Gospel in which Jesus addresses the multitude with the famous parable of the sower. "In some way this is an 'autobiographical' episode", he said, "because it reflects Jesus' own experience as a preacher. He identifies Himself with the sower who, while spreading the good seed of God's Word, becomes aware of the differing effects it produces depending on the way it is accepted. There are those who listen superficially but fail to welcome it; those who accept it immediately but have no constancy and lose everything; those who are overwhelmed by the cares and lures of the world, and those who receive and absorb it like good soil, for them the Word brings forth abundant fruit.

  "Yet this Gospel narrative also highlights the 'method' of Jesus' preaching; in other words, His use of parables", the Holy Father added. "His disciples ask Him: 'why do you speak to them in parables?' Jesus replies by distinguishing between the disciples and the crowds: to the former, who have already chosen to follow Him, He can speak openly of the Kingdom of God, but to others He has to use parables in order to simulate a decision, a conversion of heart. This is because parables, by their nature, require an effort of interpretation, they appeal to our intelligence but also to our freedom. ... In the final analysis the true 'Parable' of God is Jesus Himself ... Who, in human form, both hides and reveals divinity. Thus, God does not force us to believe in Him; rather, He draws us to Him with the truth and goodness of His incarnate Son. Love, in fact, always respects freedom".

  The Holy Father concluded his remarks by recalling that tomorrow is the Feast of St. Benedict, abbot and patron of Europe. "In the light of today's Gospel reading we look to him as a master of profound and persistent attention to the Word of God. We must always learn from the great patriarch of western monasticism to give God the place He deserves, first place, offering Him our daily activities through our morning and evening prayer".
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