THE HONOUR DUE TO ST. JOSEPH
We should, indeed, honour St. Joseph since the Son of God Himself was graciously pleased to honour him, by calling him His father. “Christ,” says Origen, “gave to Joseph the honour due to a parent.” He is also thus spoken of in the Gospel: and his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him (Luke ii. 33). The Divine Mother also spoke of him under this name. Thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing (Ibid. 48). Since, then, the King of Kings was pleased to raise Joseph to so high a dignity, it is right and a duty on our part, to endeavour to honour him as much as we can. He indeed should be greatly honoured by men, whom the King of Kings has been pleased thus to exalt. “What Angel or Saint,” says St. Basil, “ever merited to be called the father of the Son of God? Joseph alone was thus called.” Hence we can well apply to St. Joseph the words of St. Paul, being made so much better than the angels, as he hath inherited a more excellent name than they (Heb. i. 4). St. Joseph was more honoured by God, in this name of father, than all the Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles and Pontiffs; for all these have the name of servants, Joseph alone that of father.
He made him master of his house (Ps. civ. 21). Consider St. Joseph as father and lord of the little Family of Nazareth, little in point of numbers, but great on account of the two illustrious Personages who composed it — the Mother of God and the only-begotten Son of God made Man! Joseph commanded in that house, and the Son of God obeyed: He was subject to them. “This subjection,” says Gerson, “whilst it shows the humility of Jesus Christ, also shows the greatness of the dignity of St. Joseph.” “And to what greater dignity, to what higher degree of exaltation,” continues the same writer, “can a person be raised, than to that of commanding Him Who commands all kings?”
Josue excited the admiration of the whole world when he commanded the sun to stop in its course, that he might have time to conquer his enemies; and it obeyed. The Lord obeying the voice of a man (Jos. x. 14). But what comparison can there be between Josue, whom the sun, an inanimate creature, obeyed, and Joseph, who was obeyed by Jesus Christ, the Son of God?