JOSEPH FAITHFUL CITIZEN

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The Census

9. Journeying to Bethlehem for the census in obedience to the orders of legitimate authority, Joseph fulfilled for the child the significant task of officially inserting the name “Jesus, son of Joseph of Nazareth” (cf. Jn 1:45) in the registry of the Roman Empire. This registration clearly shows that Jesus belongs to the human race as a man among men, a citizen of this world, subject to laws and civil institutions, but also “savior of the world.” Origen gives a good description of the theological significance, by no means marginal, of this historical fact:   “Since the first census of the whole world took place under Caesar Augustus, and among all the others, Joseph too went to register together with Mary his wife, who was with child, and since Jesus was born before the census was completed: to the person who makes a careful examination,  it will appear that a kind of mystery is expressed in the fact that at the time,  when all people in the world presented themselves to be counted, Christ too should be counted. By being registered with everyone, he could sanctify everyone;  inscribed with the whole world in the census, he offered to the world communion with himself, and after presenting himself he wrote all the people of the world in the book of the living, so that as many as believed in him could then be written in heaven with the saints of God, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever, Amen.”(28) (from Guardian of the Redeemer)

 

 

 

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