(Source: "Meditations for Lent from St. Thomas Aquinas", pp. 54-55, 1937 Imp.)
First Week in Lent Sunday
IT WAS FITTING THAT CHRIST SHOULD BE TEMPTED
Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted
by the devil. -Matt. iv. i.
Christ willed to be tempted:
1. That he might assist us against our own
temptations. St. Gregory says, "That our Redeemer,
who had come on earth to be killed, should will to
be tempted was not unworthy of him. It was indeed
but just that he should overcome our temptations
by his own, in the same way that he had come to
overcome our death by his death."
2. To warn us that no man, however holy he
should think himself safe and free from
temptation. Whence again His choosing to be
tempted after His baptism, about which St. Hilary
says, "The devil's wiles are especially directed to
trap us at times when we have recently been made
holy, because the devil desires no victory so much
as a victory over the world of grace." Whence too,
the scripture warns us, Son, when thou comest
to the service of God, stand in justice and in fear,
and prepare thy soul for temptation (Ecclus. ii. i).
3. To give us an example how we should over-
come the temptations of the devil, St. Augustine
says, "Christ gave himself to the devil to be
tempted, that in the matter of our overcoming
those same temptations He might be of service
not only by his help but by his example too."
4. To fill and saturate our minds with confidence
His mercy. For we have not a high-priest who cannot
have compassion on our infirmities, but one tempted
things, like as we are, without sin (Heb. iv.
(3 4i i.)