Thursday of Week 22 Per Annum (1st September)

I Corinthians 3.18-23; Ps 23; Luke 5.1-11

In the Middle Ages a not-quite-official celebration was enacted in many Cathedrals on the 1st of January called the Festum Stultorum or Feast of Fools. The central idea was a kind of momentary social revolution in which power, dignity and impunity was briefly conferred on those of subordinate position; Sub-deacons would take the liturgical roles of bishops, priests and canons. These celebrations were often denounced by Church authority, and appear to have largely died out by the 15th Century.

St Paul, though, admonishes any one of you [who] thinks of himself as wise to learn to be a fool. It is probably salutary for those placed in positions of authority and grandeur to be reminded from time to time that these are simply roles into which someone else might easily have been cast. It is even more beneficial for all of us to come face-to-face with our essential poverty in comparison to the Wisdom and Majesty of God Almighty. God is not convinced by the arguments of the wise Paul reminds us. Both Old and New Testaments are replete with examples of men and women being made fools of; the wisest of them learn from these experiences to trust themselves less and to trust God more. You belong to ChristPaul consoles us. Neither the pratfalls of our own foolishness nor the deliberate trippings-up we endure from bullies and tormentors will separate us from Him.

Posted in Daily Reflection.