The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 89.

All these are our Blessed Lady's beautiful words. They seem a forecast of that which one day should be written by the great Apostle of the Gentiles : " The foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that He may confound the wise; and the weak things of the world hath God chosen that He may confound the strong. And the base things of the world and the things that are contemptible hath God chosen, and things that are not, that He may bring to nought the things that are. That no flesh should glory in His sight." (i Cor. i. 27-29.)

Mary never gloried in her own merits in the sight of God. On this account hath He chosen her from among all women, and hath raised her from her lowly estate, that He might, through her, work His divine purposes of Mercy and Compassion for the children of men, confounding those that are wise in their own conceits, filling the hungry with good things, sending the powerful empty away. On this account shall all generations call her Blessed, for he that exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted—so that he that was first shall be last, and he that was last shall be first. The humble Virgin, whom the proud ones of this earth accounted as though she were not, is throned to-day above the Cherubim and the Seraphim and all the Hosts of highest Heaven, as the glorious Mother of their Lord.

5. Son why hast Thou done so to us? question to Behold Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.

St. John Chrysostom writes that the Blessed Virgin calls St. Joseph the father of Jesus to avoid the suspicions that might otherwise have been aroused.

"For observe what this Virgin says even to her Son : Behold Thy father and I have been seeking Thee. For, had there been any suspicion here, He would not have been held to be really even the Son of David. ... If even Joseph himself, a man so just and admirable, needed many arguments to bring himself to accept what took place : for example the assurance of the Angel, the vision during sleep and the testimony of the Prophets, how would the Jews, who were hostile to our Lord, have entertained such a notion?" (In Matt., Hom. III.)

This explanation, however, if I may venture to say so, seems hardly necessary. Although no doubt our Lady had to be most careful to preserve her great secret—which was not hers so much as God's —still, after all, St. Joseph had played a father's part. He had a father's duties, as he possessed a father's authority over the Son of God. He has therefore a right to a father's name.