4th Day.— St. Joseph’s Betrothal.
1. When our blessed Lady arrived at a marriageable age, the chief priest summoned all the unmarried men of the house of David, that from them a husband might be chosen for her. There is a tradition that to each of them a rod was delivered, and the high-priest, speaking under divine inspiration, declared that God would choose a spouse for Mary in the same way that Aaron was chosen to be high-priest in the Old Law. “Whomsoever of these I shall choose, his rod shall blossom” (Num. xvii. 5). On the morrow the rod of Joseph had budded and blossomed. He was thus declared by God to be the worthy spouse of His holy Mother.
2. But Joseph had promised to God to remain ever a virgin.* How could he then consent to marriage? He knew by divine revelation that Mary had made a similar vow, and Mary knew the same of him. O happy, O ideal union! where the sublime gift of virginity was united to the mutual love and dependence of husband on wife and wife on husband.
3. But thus it is that God provides for His elect. He plans for them in a way that utterly sets at naught the prudence of the world. He never disappoints those who leave themselves in His hands, but exercises a divine ingenuity in fulfilling all the desires of their hearts in most unexpected ways, in return for their submission and obedience to His holy will. Thus it is that those who do God’s will always do their own will, for their will is His, and His will is theirs.
* St. Thomas in Quæst. Sent. ii. 1.
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