If St. Joseph was not a father, how would he have a father’s love? That which was not given by nature was fashioned for him by God’s own hands. It is in this way, says the Psalmist, that God forms each and every man’s heart.
This same divine power formed in Joseph the heart of a father and in Jesus the heart of a son. That is why Jesus obeyed and Joseph did not fear to command. And whence did this boldness to command his Creator come? The true Father of Jesus Christ, the God who engendered Him from all eternity, having chosen the divine Joseph to serve as a father for His only Son, placed a ray or a spark of His infinite love for His Son in Joseph’s breast; that is what changed his heart, that is what gave him a father’s love; so much so that the just man Joseph, who felt a paternal heart suddenly formed in him by the hand of God, also felt that God was ordering him to use paternal authority; and he dared to command the one he knew to be his Master.
- Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, First Panegyric of St. Joseph