The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
Read more.

Characters of Advent - Caesar Augustus

Saturday, December 19, 2009
“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled ... and all went to be enrolled, each to his own city” (Luke 2:1, 3).

Caesar Augustus is only mentioned once in the Bible, but from what is said, one gets the impression of a very distant, authoritative figure, one whose decisions were capable of turning the lives of ordinary people upside down. Mary and Joseph had no choice but to obey dutifully Augustus' decree, and so it followed that our saviour was born in Bethlehem, the City of David.

Although Caesar Augustus was a very different figure from Jesus, there do seem to be some parallels between their identities. The name Augustus means exalted one. To many people, Augustus was their leader and saviour. His shrewd political manoeuvrings and his judicial use of force brought to an end the chaos of the late Roman Republic and ushered in an age of peace and prosperity. He was seen as possessing a divine will, he was described as the pontifex maximus, the chief priest, and after his death he was worshipped as a god.

Jesus too is capable of turning our lives upside down, he speaks with authority, he is our saviour, the one who was exalted on the cross, he brings us peace and spiritual blessings. He does not move us by force, however, but from deep within. He truly is divine, our great high priest.

To some extent Jesus and Caesar can coexist. In speaking of Augustus' successor, Jesus said “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” However, there will be situations when there is a conflict between the things of Caesar and the things of God. Jesus' condemnation by the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate, is an example of this. Let us pray that when we find ourselves in similar situations, we may draw strength from Christ's victory on the cross.

Robert Verrill OP


Post has no comments.

Post a Comment

Captcha Image
Follow us
Meet the Student Brothers

Meet the Student Brothers



Featured Series

Featured Series

Recent posts


Liturgical index

All tags & authors


Upcoming events

View the full calendar