Vigil of the Feast of the Epiphny
by Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876
“And he arose, and took the child and its mother, and came into the land of Israel.”–Matt. 2.
Three times, as the Gospel narrates, an angel appeared to St. Joseph in a dream, and spoke to him; and every time he immediately complied with the injunctions which he received–and was silent. The angel spoke to Joseph, but not he to the angel, although, as St. Chrysostom, in the spirit of wisdom, remarks: There would have been reason enough for some words, for surely the dear saint must have had certain questions to ask. Even Mary spoke with the angel. Joseph remained silent; and we have no record in Holy Scripture of a single word that he uttered.
Mary, together with St. Joseph, sought the child Jesus, sorrowing, and found him in the temple. The loving mother exclaimed: “Why hast Thou done this to us?” but his foster-father remained silent; and it would seem that, by this silence, a deep mystery of faith is implied, in perfect accord with the calling of him who was chosen to be the earthly father of the Saviour, and the representative of His heavenly Father. The eternal Father never spoke to the human race, since, as St. Paul says, in his Epistle to the Hebrews: “So God spoke in the beginning always by his angels with men.” Continue reading