The world has been a little grim recently, with various countries and world leaders making decisions that shock us, make us cringe, make us feel angry etc. War and terrorism are ever present, and I find myself along with others of you, expressing concern, but also occasionally feeling a great weight of sadness. With that, I thought I should see if I could find some cheer in April Fools’ Day, and found this little gem on a blog by Paul Lim:
April Fools’ Day is a Catholic Thing
Okay, so it isn’t really Catholic thing per se, but the origin of April Fools’ Day is actually found in the Church. A lot of people don’t know this, so here’s how the story goes.
On Feb. 24, 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued the papal bull Inter Gravissimas which established the Gregorian calendar (which gets its name from this pope) as the official calendar for the Christian world. With this pronouncement, the Julian calendar was replaced and the first day of the new year was moved to Jan. 1. Those who continued to observe it on Apr. 1, whether out of resistance or because they didn’t receive the news, were considered foolish and ridiculed.
So if someone pulls a prank or plays a joke on you on April 1, you can legitimately blame the Catholic Church or at least Pope Gregory XIII. Historians actually offer different accounts on the origin of April Fools’ Day, but this one sounds pretty believable to me.
Other than some interesting cocktail party talk, why do I bring this up? Because I think it’s good to point out the contributions the Church has made to society. Once you realize that, then you’re one step closer to realizing how important the Church is to daily life. Christianity isn’t just something might we do for an hour on Sundays; it’s how we should be living and orienting our daily lives.”
I like Paul’s sense of fun, and it made me wonder about how we can make people smile by the way we live out our daily lives as a Christian people? The good news of Jesus Christ should bring hope and joy to people’s lives. As messengers of this good news, how are we talking about our faith?
Deacon Lucy Price