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Friday, February 27, 2015

Which Gospel drives you on the road to success? - Daily Reflections February 26,2015



THE WAY UP IS DOWN

One time I happened to catch Jordan Belfort being interviewed by Piers Morgan at CNN. Jordan Belfort is a sweet-talking con man, a scheming stockbroker who duped countless investors of their hard-earned dollars in the stock market. He was convicted and spent 22 months in jail for fraud and money laundering. His life was recently made into a movie, The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Claiming that he has made a turnaround of his life, he now goes around as a motivational speaker.
       What I found interesting was that Belfort described himself as always being very driven. At one point, he indirectly alluded to the biblical admonition, “ask, seek and knock,” as a driving force to always getting on top, not taking no for an answer, and always getting what he wanted. I
remember a scene in the movie where Belfort would sweet-talk a client on the phone while giving him the dirty finger at the same time.
       In today’s Gospel, Jesus says to His listeners, “Ask and you will receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened unto you.” It is an admonition to persevere in getting what our hearts desire but not in the way Wall Street preaches it. I find the following quote from F.B. Meyer inspiring as it is enlightening: “I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves one above the other, and that the taller we grew in Christian character the easier we should reach them. I find now that God’s gifts are on shelves one beneath the other, and that it is not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower, and that we have to go down, always down, to get His best gifts.”
       In the Gospel according to Wall Street, success comes with conquering the ladder of success, always going up and never looking down. If you need to step on others or push them out of position, so be it.
       In the Gospel of Jesus, the paradox of success is in the trajectory it takes: the only way to get up is to go down. Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: Which Gospel drives you on the road to success?

Psalm 127:1: “If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do the builders labor.” Amen.

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