Jesus could have persuaded [his would-be followers] ... by a fiery speech, for example, or by irrefutable arguments, by extraordinary promises, or by the irresistible radiance of his personality. But had he resorted to such means he would not really have respected them. In that case he would have been putting pressure on them and so desecrated the sanctuary of their freedom. [...]
Only a gratuitous and completely disinterested love could so profoundly and swiftly persuade them. Only a completely free love could arouse a love which was equally free and spontaneous. Love can only unfold completely in a heart which is fully expectant and open, in the intimate and hidden place in every human being where freedom still slumbers unconsciously. Only love can engender love, a love which will never regret anything, whatever happens; a love, strong as death, which will never be quenched, either by a flood of temptations or by the storm of death. It is because Jesus wanted us that he chose us.
André Louf, OCSO (italics mine)