There once was a lady who got hopelessly lost while driving through another state. She stopped to ask for directions at what she thought was a church. She learned she had arrived at a small monastery where she was invited to stay for dinner. It was a simple dinner—fish and chips. She was so impressed by the meal she asked if she could go into the kitchen and meet the chef. In the kitchen she was introduced to Bro. Michael and Bro. Charles. When she asked who cooked the meal they responded that they both did. Bro. Michael then told her, “Fish is my specialty. I am the fish friar.” Turning to Bro. Charles, she asked, “So that would make you…?” “Yes,” he said. “I’m the chip monk.”
Foolishness makes us laugh. April 1st is still observed by many as a day of pranks and foolishness. The most believable story about April Fool’s Day comes from the days of King Charles IX of France. Until 1564, New Year’s Day was celebrated in France on March 25, in conjunction with the start of spring. The New Year’s custom was a week of parties and gifts lasting until the first of April. But that year King Charles ordered January 1st to become the New Year’s Day in order to line up with the Gregorian Calendar. Some resisted the change and continued to celebrate the old date, which made them easy targets for pranksters to invite them to non-existent New Year’s parties at other people’s houses and villages. The object of these jokes became known as a “poisson d’Avil,” or the fish of April. The fish part came from the zodiac sign Pisces, the fish. Eventually all events on April 1st came under the banner April Fish, to celebrate the “fools” who did not change with the times.
This year April 1st falls on Sunday. Palm Sunday in fact. This is the day we sing our Hosannas and wave palm branches. It is the start of the holiest week in the Christian calendar. To some it may be foolishness; to believers it means life eternal.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Don’t be a fool. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.