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St. Joseph, the God of God

2 min • Digitized on July 2, 2021

From The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, in file "The Life and Glories of St. Joseph", page 357
By Edward Healy Thompson, M.A.

Joseph, then, accepted and used the authority given to him over Jesus, but with fear and trepidation, to use Origen’s expression.

He never gave Him a command in anything except in humble obedience to the command which he had himself received; and he did so with the same reverence as that with which the angels serve Him in Heaven; and with good reason, for it was, indeed, a fearful thing to be charged with directing the conduct of a God, and to be placed as superior over Him in whose presence the highest of creatures, the most exalted of the angelic hierarchies, the Seraphim and the Cherubim, prostrate and annihilate themselves, casting their crowns at His feet.

Moses was raised to a high dignity when he was appointed ruler and legislator of the people of God, but here we have one who was exalted to be ruler and governor of the God of that people. Nay, as Scripture tells us that the Lord said to Moses, “Behold I have appointed thee the God of Pharao,” we may also be allowed to say that Joseph was, in a manner, set to be the God of God Himself.

Words which, taken literally, are exaggerations or paradoxes become needful, so to say, in order to enable our minds to grasp a fact which, from its very magnificence and startling nature, is liable to evade our full apprehension—namely, the obedience of God to a man.

It is said in the Book of Josue, when “the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down the space of one day” at the voice of the leader of Israel, “there was not before nor after so long a day, the Lord obeying the voice of a man”; but not for twenty-four hours alone did the Lord obey the voice of Joseph, but for well-nigh thirty years. Moreover, it must be noted that Josue prayed first to the Lord, and then commanded the sun, which was only a material creature of His hand, but Joseph commanded the Sun of Justice Himself, who had called all things out of nothing.

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