With the recent death of Steven Jobs many discussions of his successes have followed. Recently, “the seven secrets” of Steve Jobs’ success (stated by Consultant Carmine Gallo), have been published, secrets no doubt thousands of people will try to follow as they seek joy and happiness. The thought of Jobs’ success begs the question, “What is success?” Our lectionary gospel reading for this Sunday is Matthew 5:1-12, also known as the Beatitudes. Here Jesus gives his 12 newly chosen disciples the promise of blessedness, or succeeding in joy, when a variety of difficulties are (or will be) encountered.
The successes Steve Jobs encountered along his life journey are very unlikely for most of us, but the list of challenges Jesus describes for the journey facing his disciples sound very familiar to a normal life. However we choose to seek success in our lives, the reality of hardship and disappointment will be part of it. I’m comforted by Jesus’ promise of blessedness and joy to prevail in the midst of my normal reality.