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Christ Had to Be Tempted in the Desert

Taken from Medulla S. Thomae Aquinatis which arranges various short texts from St. Thomas Aquinas' corpus based on the liturgical year. I will be posting the day's meditation each day and will be bringing it into print once I'm through it.

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Monday after the First Sunday of Lent

Christ Had to Be Tempted in the Desert

Jesus was in the desert forty days and forty nights, and was tempted by Satan. (Mark 1:13)

I. Christ of His own free-will exposed Himself to be tempted by the devil, just as by His own free-will He submitted to be killed by his members; else the devil would not have dared to approach Him. Now the devil prefers to assail a man who is alone, for, as it is written (Eccl 4:12), if a man prevail against one, two shall withstand him. And so it was that Christ went out into the desert, as to a field of battle, to be tempted there by the devil. Hence Ambrose says that Christ was led into the desert for the purpose of provoking the devil. For had he, i.e., the devil, not fought, He, i.e., Christ, would not have conquered.