11.And I am no longer in the world. He assigns another reason why he prays so earnestly for the disciples, namely, because they will very soon be deprived of his bodily presence, under which they had reposed till now. So long as he dwelt with them, he cherished them,
as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings,
but now that he is about to depart, he asks that the Father will guard them by his protection. And he does so on their account; for he provides a remedy for their trembling, that they may rely on God himself, to whose hands, as it were, he now commits them. It yields no small consolation to us, when we learn that the Son of God becomes so much the more earnest about the salvation of his people, when he leaves them as to his bodily presence; for we ought to conclude from it, that, while we are labouring under difficulties in the world, he keeps his eye on us, to send down, from his heavenly glory, relief from our distresses.
Holy Father. The whole prayer is directed to this object, that the disciples may not lose courage, as if their condition were made worse on account of the bodily absence of their Master. For Christ, having been appointed by the Father to be their guardian for a time, and having now discharged the duties of that office gives them back again, as it were, into the hands of the Father, that henceforth they may enjoy his protection, and may be upheld by his power. It amounts therefore to this, that, when the disciples are deprived of Christ’ bodily presence they suffer no loss, because God receives them under his guardianship, the efficacy of which shall never cease.
That they may be one. This points out the way in which they shall be kept; for those whom the Heavenly Father has decreed to keep, he brings together in a holy unity of faith and of the Spirit. But as it is not enough that men be agreed in some manner, he adds, As we are. Then will our unity be truly happy, when it shall bear the image of God the Father and of Christ, as the wax takes the form of the seal which is impressed upon it. But in what manner the Father, and Jesus Christ (117) his Son, are one, I shall shortly afterwards explain.