Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, saying, "I am Joseph, your brother."

Thursday, 7/7/11

Fifty years ago Pope John XXII recalled those words of Joseph when he revealed himself to his brothers. Pope John whose middle name at his Baptism was Giuseppe, Italian for Joseph, used the Bible’s words when he welcomed a large Jewish delegation. He told them, “I am Joseph, your brother.”

In the 500 page book I wrote about my good Catholic life I kept searching for what I liked best about our Church. Then, in the last chapter I came around to seeing that it was qualities that Pope John summed up.

He was the fourth of fourteen children of sharecroppers. Respecting his brothers’ and sisters’ private lives, he never exposed them to photographers when they paid him visits at the Vatican.

In twenty years of assignments all over Europe he was delighted with the wonderful insights of the people he met up with. When Rome kept ignoring the people who were saying what Jesus wanted said John decided there was only one way to let those outsiders have their say. He called for an ecumenical council where the outsiders had the pulpit. From the opening day of the council he knew he had a deadly cancer, so he took all the wise steps needed to insure that God’s truth would win out.

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