Junior High Session
Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8
Let us pray.
Lord Jesus, help us to leave behind whatever gets in the way of our following you.
Give us the courage to spread the news of your goodness and love.
Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Opening Life Reflection
To begin today’s session invite the young people to reflect on what faith in Jesus calls them to do. At the top of a large sheet of paper write the following three titles: at home, in school, and with friends. Brainstorm how they are called to follow Jesus in each of those three areas of their lives. Write their responses on the paper.
Today we will focus on our response to God’s revelation. We are called to continue the mission of Jesus and spread the good news of the kingdom of God to the world.
Listening to the Word of God
In the Old Testament reading today we hear of God’s call. Listen to how the prophet responds.
Read Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8.
Allow for silence.
Scripture Discussion Starters
- Why does the prophet say that he is lost?
- How does God free the prophet from his guilt?
- What does God ask of him?
- What is the prophets’ response to God’s call?
In the Gospel reading Jesus teaches the crowds from a boat. Listen to find out how Jesus calls Peter.
Read Luke 5:1-11.
Allow for silence.
- Why does Jesus get into Peter’s boat?
- Why was the crowd pressing in on Jesus?
- After he is done teaching the crowds, what does Jesus ask Peter to do?
- What is Peter’s response?
- After the nets are let down and they catch many fish what does Peter do?
- What does Jesus tell Peter that he will be catching from now on?
Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings.
In the Old Testament reading today, we see how God’s revelation causes self-examination and remorse for one’s sins. A person’s encounter with God is shown in this reading as both terrifying and attractive. God assures the prophet that he is worthy of his calling to speak God’s own words to the people. This brings forth a whole-hearted response from the prophet, “Here I am; send me!”
In today’s Gospel Jesus calls Simon Peter to follow him. Like the prophet in the Old Testament reading, Peter is also sent out to speak the word of God to the people.
The setting for the Gospel is in a boat on a lake. It is a familiar setting to Peter. We find out that Peter has been trying to catch fish all day with nothing to show for it. Jesus enters Peter’s boat and asks him to throw the net into the lake once again. Peter argues the point, yet he listens to Jesus. They let down the net and what a catch they get! The miraculous catch of fish is Peter’s encounter with the presence of God. This encounter is so powerful that Peter gets on his knees before Jesus. Jesus tells Peter, “Do not be afraid, from now on you will be catching people.” Peter receives Jesus’ call to discipleship. He leaves everything and follows Jesus.
Questions for Deeper Reflection
- What do you need to leave behind in order to follow Jesus?
- What does Jesus mean when he tells Peter that he will be “catching people?”
- How can you “catch people” for Jesus?
[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]
Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Jesus called others to follow him and take on his mission of spreading the good news of the kingdom of God to the world. Peter and others accepted his invitation. They told others about Jesus’ life, his works and the importance of the resurrection. Eventually, followers of Jesus wrote down the good news.
God’s revelation to us is not just a long-ago event that focuses on the first disciples. Catholics believe that while nothing is added to the content of God’s revelation through Jesus Christ, the mystery of God’s presence is unfolded throughout our lives today. God continues to speak to us through Scripture and Tradition. We have inherited from the apostles the sacred deposit of faith, contained in Scripture and Tradition. Tradition is “everything that serves to make the People of God live their lives in holiness and increase their faith.”
- How does God speak to you through Scripture?
- How does God speak to you through Tradition?
- How can you be more aware of God’s revelation through Jesus?
The Gospel in Life
Simon Peter was a fisherman. God was revealed to Peter through something that he liked to do. Think about the things that you like to do. Try to be aware of how God speaks to you through the things you like to do or the tasks of daily life.
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 6
Junior High, Jesus in the New Testament, chapter 7
Junior High, Church and Sacraments, chapter 2
Junior High, Church History, chapters 2 and 4
Blest Are We
Grade 7, chapter 1
Grade 8, chapter 17