April 20, 2020

The Lord's Forty Days of Fasting and Forty Days of Feasting

By Venerable Bede of Jarrow

Our Lord fasted forty days before His bodily death (Matt. 4:2) and feasted forty more with His disciples after His bodily resurrection, appearing to them by many infallible proofs and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3-4). For by fasting He showed in Himself our toil, but by eating and drinking with His disciples He showed His consolation in our midst. While He was fasting he was crying out, as it were, "Take heed lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the cares of this life" (Lk. 21:34), whereas while he was eating and drinking He was crying out, as it were, "Behold I am with you always even unto the consummation of the age" (Matt. 28:20), and: "But I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one shall take from you" (Jn. 16:22). For as soon as we set our feet upon the way of the Lord we both fast from the vanity of the present world and are cheered with the promise of the world to come, not setting our heart on the life here below, but feeding our heart on the life above.

From On the Temple I.10.