In case you missed it the other day, Pope Benedict was approached by the Financial Times to write a Christmas piece. He obliged, commenting on the challenge the almost worldwide financial crisis presents when it comes to celebrating Christmas. Words from the public ministry of Jesus became the opening line of the Pope's reflection--and they are surprisingly apt words in the light of the Christmas story itself, when "an edict came forth from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be registered...": "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's."
The Pope wrote about the sharing of earth's resources; Christian engagement in political life (an engagement that ought to shun every form of ideology); the need to care for the weak... In a word, he wrote about Christian life in the world. And that Christian life began...in Bethlehem.