He chose them, as He says, to be, “not servants but friends.”
He made them His confidants. He told them things which He did not tell others.
It was His will to favour, nay, to indulge them, as a father behaves towards a favourite child.
He made them more blessed than kings and prophets and wise men, from the things He told them.
He called them “His little ones,” and preferred them for His gifts to the wise and prudent.
[...] He rejoiced in their sympathy when His solemn trial was approaching.
He assembled them about Him at the last supper, as if they were to support Him in it.
“With desire,” He says, “have I desired to eat this Pasch with you, before I suffer.”
[...] But it was His adorable will that they too should leave Him, that He should be left to Himself.
One betrayed, another denied Him, the rest ran away from Him, and left Him in the hands of His enemies.
Even after He had risen, none would believe in it.
Thus he trod the winepress alone.
He who was Almighty, and All-blessed, and who flooded His own soul with the full glory of the vision of His Divine Nature, would still subject that soul to all the infirmities which naturally belonged to it;
and, as He suffered it to rejoice in the sympathy, and to be desolate under the absence, of human friends, so, when it pleased Him, He could, and did, deprive it of the light of the presence of God.
This was the last and crowning misery that He put upon it.
He had in the course of His ministry fled from man to God; he had appealed to Him.
He had taken refuge from the rude ingratitude of the race whom He was saving in divine communion.
He retired of nights to pray.
He said, “the Father loveth the Son, and shews to Him all things that He doth Himself.”
He returned thanks to Him for hiding His mysteries from the wise to reveal them to the little ones.
But now He deprived Himself of this elementary consolation, by which He lived, and that, not in part only, but in its fulness.
He said, when His passion began, “My soul is sorrowful even unto death;”
and at the last, “My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
Thus He was stripped of all things.
John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890): Meditations on Christian Doctrine, 3,2,2,15-16.