the origin of Christ was in this wise. When Mary His mother had been betrothed
to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child by
the Holy Spirit. But Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not wishing
to expose her to reproach, was thinking to put her away privately.
while he thought on these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared
to him in a dream saying:
all this came to pass that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet
might be fulfilled, 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring
forth a son; and they shall call His name Emmanuel';
Joseph, arising from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and
took unto him his wife." (Mt. 1: 18-25)
the angel appeared, Joseph suffered immensely. His sorrow was as great as
his love for the Virgin Mary.
Fathers of the Church comment on this scene in different ways. The interpretation
that Thomas Aquinas gives to Joseph's perplexity corresponds to the reality
of the situation. He explains: "Joseph wanted to leave Mary not because
he was suspicious but because, out of humility, he was afraid to live beside
such great sanctity. This is why the angel told him, 'Do not be afraid.'
felt that he was worthless, that he was nothing, compared to the incomprehensible
mystery that surrounded Mary. To his great sorrow, he determined to withdraw
discretely. But from the angel, he received confirmation of the fact that
what had happened to her was God's work and that besides, he too, had a
part, a mission in the mystery: 'You shall call his name Jesus'. In Biblical
language, this expression meant that he was going to be Jesus' father according
to the law. Knowing this, St. Joseph was filled with the joy of his vocation.
chaste spouse of most Holy Mary, glorious St. Joseph, great was the trouble
and anguish in your heart when you were perplexed over putting away your
immaculate spouse, yet your joy was was immense when the sublime mystery
of the Incarnation was revealed to you by the angel.
this sorrow and this joy, we ask you to comfort our souls, both now and
in the sorrows of our final hour, with the joy of a good life and a holy
death like your own in the company of Jesus and Mary.
I ask (mention in silence the favor asked and pray one Our Father, One Hail
Mary and one Glory Be).