Where is your focus?
“Where is your brother?” is the appeal with which the General Council wishes to unsettle and rekindle the commitment of all Lasallians through the Leavening Project. This question aims to make us uncomfortable, to move us, to help us discern our place in the different areas where we move and act (LP 7). But to ask ourselves “where are our brothers and sisters” entails that they are out of our sight.
Perhaps it is also worth asking: where is our focus since we no longer notice our brothers and sisters?
Two elements could guide an attempt to get an answer. On the one hand, with regard to the focus, the Common Rules of 1718 of the Brothers stated that the spirit of faith should induce us “to look upon anything but with the eyes of faith” and “not to do anything but in view of God”. In this very important excerpt of our history and tradition, to look is a key element: it indicates a way and a principle of action. However, there is no further explanation, as if assuming an implicit understanding of what these expressions would mean.
On the other hand, in the anthropology of the biblical tradition, the brain is not the thinking core of the human being, but the eyes and the heart. These two, together, are the source of emotional thinking. In fact, the gaze is the gateway to thinking, the one that enables us to understand and assimilate the reality. Therefore, being blind or unable to see clearly symbolises the impossibility of thinking; the same applies when we have a hard heart. Thus, it is understandable why several biblical passages insist on pointing out that, unlike the idols and gods of other peoples, Yahweh has eyes and can see.
In order to explore these questions more deeply and to discover to what extent “looking” constitutes a key element in our identity, this reflection aims at deepening the issue through some biblical stories. Although there are many gazes that appear in the Bible, three in particular could help in this purpose, especially in the face of our contextual realities and the global reality. Finally, this reflection intends to provide us with some tools that allow us to read the challenges of our environment and their impact on our concrete contexts and, above all, it aims to try to awaken new responses that will lead us to (re)encounter our brothers and sisters.