Focus

As I begin to write this, I am sitting in an airport waiting (hopefully) for a rebooked flight home. I am sure that all of us have experienced such delays and usually can make the best of it by reading, talking to someone, working, or people watching. That would be my normal response. But on this trip I am traveling with my daughter and her 1 and 3-year-old boys — boys who are as curious and energetic as any toddler. So the focus is on them.

Focus is something we all need at various times in our lives. It is practiced when a woman needs a focal point for deep breathing in the middle of labor and delivery. It can be the place of concentration to maintain balance in a yoga pose. Or it can be the centering point of our attentiveness to the mission of Jesus Christ as we live out our role as Christian followers in the world.

Joe Grant in our feature article invites readers to focus on what we learn of God through the parables and down to earth images that Jesus offered to listeners. Jesus recognized God as mystery, and offered a colorful array of metaphors that would help us as humans deepen our relationship to God as Sacred Mystery.

The Scripture commentaries this month prompt us to focus on parables that give a glimpse into God’s handiwork: the weeds among the wheat, a treasure buried in the field, yeast in the dough. Matthew’s Gospel invites us to focus on the kingdom of heaven to learn what Jesus was trying to teach us about God’s presence here and now.

Fr. Roger Karban says in his commentary for July 30th: “Teachers don’t employ parables when they’re simply adding new information to the information a person already has. Parables come into play only when a teacher is trying to change someone’s frame of mind, alter how a person processes all information, or shift an individual’s focus on reality. Parables remind students, ‘You can’t get there from here!’”

So let’s find our focus, shift our centering point. Breathe deeply of the Spirit who is active in our lives and embark on God’s mission.

Denise Simeone
dsimeone@ncronline.org