Lent I – Luke 4:5-8

5 And the devil led him into a high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time;

Theophylact: The enemy had first assailed Christ by the temptation of the appetite, as also he did Adam. He next tempts Him with the desire of gain or covetousness, shewing Him all the kingdoms of the world.

Some say that he presented them to Him in imagination, but I hold that he brought them before Him in visible form and appearance.

Titus of Bostra: Or, the devil described the world in language, and as he thought brought it vividly before our Lord’s mind.

6 And he said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them.

Titus of Bostra: He lied in two respects. For he neither had to give nor could he give that which he had not.

Ambrose: All power is from God. Therefore from God’s hands comes the disposal of power, the lust of power is from the evil one; power is not itself evil, but he who evilly uses it.

7 If thou therefore wilt adore before me, all shall be thine.

Ambrose: In order to rule others a man is first their servant, and prostrates himself in obedience that he may be rewarded with honors, and the higher he aspires the lower he bends with feigned humility.

8 And Jesus answering said to him: It is written: Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Cyril: This command touched him to the quick; for before Christ’s coming he was every where worshipped. But the law of God casting him down from his usurped dominion, establishes the worship of Him alone who is really God.

Scripture from the Douay-Rheims Bible. Commentary from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, Vol. III (London: Rivington, 1843).

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