'They went up. The parents of Jesus are Joseph ('increase') and Mary ('bitter sea'). She is given the name of bitterness, not because the bitter groaning of penance was hers, but as a kind of fore-telling of her Son's Passion. These two stand for hope and fear, which are as it were the parents of the just man. Hope is the expectation of future good, giving rise to an affection of humility and the conscientious obedience of service. Behold Joseph, that humble and careful servant! Hope is as it were the foot on which we go forward and 'increase'. Its opposite is despair, which has no capacity for advance, because whoever loves sin cannot hope for future glory. And so that hope may not be corrupted by presumption, it should be joined to fear, which is the beginning of wisdom [cf. Ps 110.10; Eccles 1.16]. No-one can attain the sweet taste of wisdom without first tasting the bitterness of fear. Thus we read in Exodus that the children of Israel, before tasting the sweetness of the manna, encountered the bitter waters of Mara. It is by the draught mingled with bitterness that one attains the joy of health.'

St. Anthony of Padua