This reflection will help youth understand what they need to leave behind in order to have the freedom to follow Jesus.
(If possible, have a fishing net or some netting materials to use as a visual aid during the discussion.)
Think about nets. They can be very useful in catching fish. But they also catch a lot of other things. Debris, leaves, fish you don’t want. This makes them difficult and time consuming to keep clean and maintain.
So in a way, nets can be like things in our lives which seem useful but are really bringing and holding some bad things into our lives. For example, I might have a strong desire to be a starting player on the basketball team. But if I am skipping Sunday mass to go to games, then this seemingly good thing can be holding some dirt and debris in my life.
- Can you think of any examples of good things which are also catching some not so good things at the same time?
- What are the costs of the negative things?
Read Mark 1:14-20:
After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.Mark 1:14-20
When Jesus called his disciples, it tells us that they abandoned their nets. Their nets were what allowed them to support themselves and their families. This was a huge act of trust. But it was also necessary. If they remained tied to their former lives, they would not be able to follow Jesus in complete freedom.
So what does abandoning your nets look like? It might mean letting go of the need to be seen as important or popular. Or walking away from a relationship which is destructive. It could be that you need to rid yourself of the habit of spending too much time on social media or gaming.
- Can you name one or more things in your life which is holding you back from following Jesus?
- What would it take to abandon it?
- How can your faith help you in that effort?
- How can being a member of a Christian community help you?
This week, choose one thing to work on. Try to let go of it so that you are free to follow Jesus.
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