The World's First Love by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Part 29.

We must do all our actions through Mary to make them more perfect for Jesus.
But there is no evidence that Jesus limited Mary and Joseph to the mere nominal right to command. The Gospel says: "He lived there in subjection to them." Two great miracles of humility and exaltation are involved - God obeying a woman, and a woman commanding her God. The very fact that He makes Himself subject endows her with power. By this long span of voluntary obedience, He revealed that the Fourth Commandment is the bedrock of family life. For, looking at it in a larger way, how could the primal sin of disobedience against God be undone, except by the obedience in the flesh of the very God Who was defied? The first revolt in God's universe of peace was the thunderbolt of Lucifer: "I will not obey!" Eden caught up the echo, and down the ages its infraction traveled, winging its way into the nook and crevices of every family where there were gathered a father, a mother, and a child.

By making Himself subject to Mary and Joseph, the Divine Child proclaims authority in the home and in public life to be a power granted by God Himself. From this follows the duty of obedience, for the sake of God and of one's conscience. As later on He would tell Pilate that the civil authorities exercised no power except that given them from above, so now by His obedience He bears witness to the solemn truth that parents exercise their authority in the name of God. Thus parents have the most sacred claim on their children, because their first responsibility is to God. "Every soul must be submissive to its lawful superiors; authority comes from God only, and all authorities that hold sway are of his ordinance." (Rom. 13:1)

If the parents surrender their legitimate authority and primary responsibility to the children, the State takes up the slack. When obedience in conscience in the home vanishes, it will be supplanted by obedience by the force of the State. The glory of the ego which infects the twentieth century is so much social nonsense. The divine glory of the State which is now taking the ego's place is a social nuisance. Believers in ego-consciousness and collective consciousness may regard humility and obedience as a vice, but it is the stuff of which homes are made. When in the one family of the world, where one might legitimately excuse "child-worship," for here the child is God, one finds on the contrary child-obedience, then let no one deny that obedience is the cornerstone of the home. Obedience in the home is the foundation of obedience in the commonwealth, for in each instance, conscience submits to a trustee of God's authority. If it be true that the world has lost its respect for authority, it is only because it lost it first in the home. By a peculiar paradox, as the home loses its authority, the authority of the State becomes tyrannical. Some moderns would swell their ego into infinity; but at Nazareth Infinity stoops down to earth to shrink into the obedience of a child.