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FOREWORD

Dear Friends

You may remember that by happy coincidence this year

Ash Wednesday happened to fall on February 14th, St

Valentine's Day. Well, it may seem rather less fortunate

that Easter Day falls on April 1st, April Fool's Day!

Perhaps though the two are not so oddly matched. St

Paul, writing to the Corinthians remarked that 'the

message of the cross is foolishness to those who are

perishing.' Meaning that to those who could not see the

truth of God's saving love revealed in the cross, it must

have seemed like nonsense to suggest that the

crucifixion was anything other than utter defeat.

A little later in the same letter Paul goes so far as to

describe himself and his fellow apostles as 'fools for

Christ'; being willing as they were to suffer the ridicule

and hardship that resulted from remaining true to their

calling.

Much later on St Francis of Assisi was called 'God's

Fool', because of his determination not to conform to the

standards of the society in which he lived, preferring to

model his life on what he believed were the standards

and values of God's kingdom. He was frequently mocked

for his lifestyle and commitment to what he called the

'Gospel Life'. But if Francis was a fool in the eyes of the

world, he was a fool whose life and actions revealed the

wisdom of God.

So perhaps the fact that Easter Day this year falls on

April Fool's Day is, after all, highly appropriate, and even

challenges us to consider why, where and how we might

become fools for Christ.

Jonathan