Such was to be this greatest and most perfect marriage. And we may well believe that it also entered into God’s designs to honour and exalt the marriage-state in the espousals of Mary and Joseph.
The Author of nature at the commencement of the ages had in Eden Himself instituted the marital bond, and had bestowed His blessing upon it and upon the first married couple; and the Author of grace, when pronouncing that tie indissoluble, also enriched it with such heavenly gifts that under the Gospel dispensation it was to be raised to the dignity of a sacrament.
Adam and Eve, although adorned with original justice, had fallen and become sinners before being parents, and thus had marred this divine institution. Now, the Incarnate Word, who came to repair all that the first man’s sin had ruined, could not but restore honour to that which is the basis of the human family and of society. God would institute another marriage in reparation of His glory, and to remedy the defect of the first.
Choosing, therefore, the most just of men, He gave him the most perfect of women for his spouse, who not only would not place him in danger of sinning, but would aid him to attain the highest summit of perfection.
The glory of God required this; since, if Mary was to be His mother, Joseph was to be His father, though not by nature, yet by virtue of his office. He was to be His reputed father, fulfilling all the duties and obligations belonging to that relationship.
The glory of God, therefore, required that He should give him a consort who would be truly an aid to him, as Eve was designed to be to Adam.