Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin God does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions. Proverbs 18.2
A Word of Hope
Both Testaments of the Bible combine their efforts to give us 24 sayings, definitions, and warnings about foolish people. Since it’s April Fool’s Day, I should say now that I’m only kidding, but I’m not. Foolishness is not unique to our generation.
My favorite definition of a fool is in the Proverb above; ancient words, but timeless. How many times have you been in a conversation with a person or group who, somewhere in the middle of your statement, give you the distinct impression that they don’t have any regard for what you are saying? They are simply waiting for you to take a breath long enough for them to begin a soliloquy of their own packaged opinion. I believe that most of us have not only experienced, but also participated in this kind of foolishness. Biased opinions are unrestrained in our generation and none of us is immune to delivering those monotonous monologues.
The irony of many of our strong opinions is that they actually are not our own. They have been indoctrinated into our subconscious by some forgotten childhood preacher, corrupt politician, unethical advertiser, or devious pressure group. Innumerable opinions are imbedded obscurities with forgotten origins. The great enigma of our era is the TV newscaster’s opinion we legitimize as our personal gospel. You know the one. The assessment read by a detached professional newsreader written by a writer who doesn’t believe it either, who had been hired by a reluctant employee of an organization under the conglomerate owned by…I would be a fool to continue. It’s your adamant personal opinion. The original source is irrelevant. You own it.
April Fool’s Day is a day we play jokes on others, but so often we ourselves are the joke. We are also in the middle of Lent, a good time of year to refrain from being foolish in our opinions. Convictions matter, but the sources of our convictions matter more.
God, we ask that you bless the good we have accomplished and also forgive the wrong that we have done. Have mercy on us, open our hearts and change our lives.
ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS
May I refrain from being foolish today. May my deepest convictions be tempered by your standards and guided by your love.
Minister for Children and Families
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare