The Ministry of Jesus Christ – His Fasting

The Ministry of Jesus Christ - His FastingArticle

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. – Matthew 4:1 (RSVCE)

After His Baptism, our Lord was driven by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Previously to the temptation He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, and dwelt among wild beasts.

It was under the impulse of the Holy Spirit that our Lord went out into the desert to be tempted. Men often think that when temptations assail them it is their own fault or a punishment for their sins, and lose courage accordingly. They forget that may be the Holy Spirit is guiding them in the same path in which He guided the Son of God: that they are but following in His sacred footsteps. Temptation is not only permitted by God, but He ordains it for the greater sanctification of His elect.

Our Lord prepared for His temptation by a long fast. Did He need it as a means of overcoming the rebellion of nature? How could He, the spotless Lamb of God, whose Human Nature was joined in closest union to the Divinity, need any aid to repel the assaults of Satan? No, it was for my sake. It was that I might have strength to overcome, it was to earn graces for me that I see Him pale and faint and wan after His long and painful fast.

He was with the wild beasts, in solitudes far removed from all human intercourse, among animals wild and savage, who were, however, obedient unto Him as their Master and King. Christ as Man was Lord of all creation. It was sin that made the brutes our enemies. No creature on earth can really harm us except by reason of sin. To those who love God all things work together for good.

MLA Citation

  • Father Richard Frederick Clarke, SJ. “His Fasting”. The Ministry of Jesus Christ: Short Meditations on the Public Life of Our Lord, 1892. CatholicSaints.Info. 16 April 2019. Web. 1 August 2021. <>