The Glory of St. Joseph’s Resurrected Body
Jun 25th, 2021 • 5 min
Note: This book does not have any approbations (Nihil obstat and Imprimatur). However, this snippet is included here because the points made seem reasonable and worthy of belief to the editor of ImmaculataLibrary.com. But they are not matters of faith, and are at the reader’s discretion to accept or reject.
Many learned doctors, and among them (as we have said) St. Francis de Sales, consider that several of the alleged reasons for his anticipated resurrection amount to demonstration. Nay, God Himself seems to have authorised the belief by a striking miracle; for when St. Bernardine of Siena, preaching in Padua, declared that the body and soul of Joseph were both glorified in Heaven, a rich cross of gold was seen to shine over the head of the preacher, proving to the very eyes of those who surrounded him the truth which he was conveying to their ears. The pious Bernardine de Bustis, who was himself a witness of this marvel, also most firmly held that Joseph rose from the grave with Christ and, along with the risen Saviour, went to visit his holy spouse, and is now enjoying eternal life and glory ineffable, soul and body, in their company. 1
How great the glory of the beatified body of Joseph may be, it is beyond the power of our feeble imaginations to conceive. We only know that it must be proportioned to the glory of his soul.
It is certain that the Body of the Lord, when He rose victorious from the grave, possessed such marvellous endowments and was adorned with such matchless splendour that all earthly magnificence and beauty is but a shadow of its glory. The living palace of the Incarnate Word, in which, as the Apostle says, “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead corporally,” 2 must needs thus be gifted and enriched.
But Jesus was not only rich in Himself, but rich in order to impart His riches. His followers are to be partakers of it, each in his measure, and that measure, be it small or great, will include and, indeed, will consist in likeness to Himself.
The beloved disciple, unable to describe the future blessedness of the sons of God, says, “It hath not yet appeared what we shall be,” and then he adds, “We know that when He shall appear we shall be like to Him”. 3 That is all he could say; and it was the highest thing he could have said. That adorable Body being, indeed, the first and most perfect of all corporeal beauties, we cannot estimate the riches and glory of other bodies save by comparing them with this divine exemplar.
When the Son of God, then, was willed to raise His father Joseph with Him from the grave, we feel that He had what we might almost call a special obligation to grant him a singular likeness to Himself. Joseph had been very like to Him on earth, and it was fitting that he should be so in order to confirm the opinion that he was truly His father; and now, in the resurrection, Jesus enhances that likeness, not to establish, but to recompense the paternity of Joseph, and to preserve that just conformity in Heaven which was befitting the relationship subsisting between them, a relationship which, next to that which united Him to His immaculate Mother, was the most intimate and the most glorious.
When Joseph, therefore, entered Heaven on the Ascension Day, he presented to the eyes of the angels the most magnificent object, next to the Sacred Humanity of the Eternal Son, which they had ever beheld.
Mary, their Queen, was, it is true, to shine with still more resplendent lustre, but never for a moment must we imagine that her arrival on the day of her Assumption caused the glory of her spouse to pale; on the contrary, it increased and intensified it through that celestial law of reflection of which we have the type and similitude in nature on this earth of ours.
The bodies of all the saints will be invested with light, a light which emanates from the Lamb, who is the lamp and the sun of the New Jerusalem, 4 but the Saviour and His most holy Mother will delight in causing the brightest beams of their glory to irradiate through all eternity the beatified body of Joseph, who, abiding ever in close proximity to the central splendours of the empyrean—the Sacred Humanity of the Incarnate Word and His most holy Mother—will be even penetrated with their light—as a precious metal glows with the same intenseness as the furnace in which it is plunged, or, like some pure mirror, which, confronted with the sun, faithfully repeats its image—a light too dazzling for mortal eyes to gaze upon.
What more can we say? Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the earthly Trinity, now together enthroned in the blaze of supernal glory, shine in that light eternal which by communication becomes, as it were, common to all three.
1 Mariale, p. iv. Serm. xii.
2 Col. ii. 9.
3 1 St. John iii. 2.
4 Apoc. xxii. 5.
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