THE discourses of our Lord after the Last Supper, His prayer to His Father before entering Gethsemani, have an extraordinary attraction for those souls with whom the reading of the Gospels is a familiar practice. This attraction is explained by the unique character of these words transmitted to us by St. John, by the hour in which they were pronounced, and by the ineffable splendour of the realities they reveal. With a few rare exceptions, the Evangelists relate nothing to us beyond the public teachings of the Divine Master. Here, on the contrary, alone with his Apostles, in an intimacy in which He suffers all His tenderness to appear, He speaks to them as His friends, as His brethren. And these discourses are the last that in His mortal life He will hold with them, the words they will hear are the last that will fall from His lips, in these last peaceful moments He is spending with them before the hoter He has on many occasions announced to them: this hour, now so near, when He will deliver Himself up to His enemies, to be judged, condemned, and crucified. Undoubtedly, after His resurrection, and in order to convince them by apparitions which shall dissipate all their doubts, He will come back sometimes into their midst, but soon the final separation will come. Then what will be their condition here below? What will they do? Upon whom and upon what can they count to fulfil their mission? Mark well, these questions will force themselves upon every one of the disciples of the Saviour in the ages to come; they force themselves upon each one of us, as painfully as upon the Apostles: what they suggest it is as important for us as it was for them to know. This is precisely what Jesus has sought to teach, to them and to us all, in His discourses and in His prayer, for He takes special care to let us know that while He is speaking to His Apostles, we are present to Him as truly as they are, and that we all have the right and the duty to take to ourselves His teaching and His prayer.
Abbe Nouvelle, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1495911381, ISBN 13: 9781495911385