8th Day — Mary's Espousal
I have put my trust in Thee, O Lord: I said: My lots are in Thy hands. (Psalm xxx. 15.)
1. When Mary arrived at the age when it was the custom for Jewish maidens to leave the service of the Temple, the high priest told her that a husband would be chosen for her. But Mary had already made a vow of virginity to God, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; and now she received the command to join herself in wedlock, and God inspired her to obey. What a trial for her faith and confidence in God!
2. What a trial, too, for her humility, that she who had consecrated her virginity to the Most High should appear before the world in the ordinary state of wedlock, that she who was the Bride of the Most High should be counted as the bride of mortal man! Yet Mary rejoiced in this humiliation. She knew well that those whom God humbles He will in due time exalt.
3. Mary's confidence in God was not disappointed. He did not fail to fulfil the desires of His handmaid. She found, on being espoused, that Joseph her spouse had, like her, made a vow of chastity, and that she could therefore dwell with him in perfect security. Oh, how good God is to those who hope in Him!
Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
Sweet spouse of Mary, hail
Chaste as the lily flower
In Eden's peaceful vale.