Merry Christmas! In today’s episode, Bishop Barron walks us through the second chapter of Luke’s Gospel, which recounts the birth of Jesus. As we see, this story is far from a safe, charming fairy tale. It tells the story of a new king, one who rivals the kingship of Caesar Augustus at every turn. A listener asks what St. John of the Cross meant by “the divine sweetness.”

Topics Discussed

  • 0:04 – Introduction: The fires of Southern California
  • 2:40 – Why is “subversive” a good word for the Nativity narrative?
  • 4:40 – What is the importance of the census in the Christmas story?
  • 6:40 – Why does Luke begin the story by mentioning the great figures of the time?
  • 8:00 – What is the significance of the “line of David”?
  • 9:55 – What is the symbolic nature of there being no room at the inn, Jesus being wrapped in swaddling clothes, and Jesus being placed in a manger?
  • 18:08 – What’s the significance of the angels and shepherds?
  • 25:50 – How were the Gospel writers spiritual and literary masters?
  • 27:35 – Listener question: How do we dialogue with someone who creates their own personal religion?


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2 comments on “WOF 107: Jesus vs. Caesar

  1. maria velazquez Dec 27, 2017

    Merry Christmas! Thank you for the answer. As usual Bishop Barron knows exactly what to do. I will try to practice the advice but hopefully I will get help from above because its not easy. Around here everyone seems entitled and encouraged to practice their own personal religion, Many masses to not follow the catholic liturgy and the catequism of the Catholic Church is a mystery.
    But I will try.

  2. David Simmons Jan 9, 2018

    Love the podcast. Couldn’t help thinking, while pondering on it afterwards, that Luke’s Infancy narrative is still ‘subversive’ to today’s secular nihilistic culture. This culture is as scared as Herod and Jerusalem were troubled by the birth of a new King.