Here, we see the absolute depth of Mary's obedience. On this point, I'm in debt to my dad, who introduced me to Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis's amazing commentary on Matthew's Gospel, Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word, Vol. 1. In it, Leiva-Merikakis talks about how after Gabriel announces the Incarnation, Mary never receives another word directly from Heaven (at least so far as we know). Instead, things go through St. Joseph, Her spouse, and even then, they come to him in dreams, not through an angel on his doorstep:
- Already married (Mt. 1:19), Joseph and Mary move in together because of a message which Joseph received from an angel in a dream (Mt. 1:18-25).
- When an angel appears to Joseph in another dream, the family flees their home to Egypt (Mt. 2:13).
- After an angel appears to him in a third dream, they leave their home in Egypt to return to Israel (Mt. 2:19-20).
God chooses to respect Joseph's headship over his Wife and Child, even though his Wife is sinless and his Child is God. God takes the one member of the Holy Family who, while an amazing model for men everywhere, is still the least qualified of the Three. And of course, these are only the times in which Joseph is receiving dreams. The rest of the time, the many years between the conception of Jesus Christ and the death of St. Joseph, he's apparently running things without any direct revelation whatsoever, just doing the best he can. And both Mary, and even Jesus Christ Himself, submit to him.