Catching Fire: Who is it for?


Prim…Rue…aren’t they the very reason I have to try to fight?  Because what has been done to them is so wrong, so beyond justification, so evil that there is no choice?  … This is the thing to remember when fear threatens to swallow me up.  What I am about to do, whatever any of us are forced to endure, it is for them.  (123)

Katniss is battling with fear.  She doesn’t want to fight against the Capitol.  She knows fully well what all that could mean, not only to herself, but also to her loved ones.  She knows that it could mean danger for them, but then she realizes they have already been hurt.  Prim has already lost her father, suffered extreme poverty, her mother’s depression and had to watch her sister take her place in the Games—all a direct result of the Capitol’s oppression.  Prim could become a target of the Capitol if Katniss decides to fight them, or worse, a casualty of the battle.  But then again, isn’t Prim already a casualty?  Hasn’t she already had to suffer?

This is when Katniss realizes she has to fight.  She wants her sister to be free.  She finally realizes that it isn’t enough to just survive, to try to avoid additional suffering.  The only acceptable future for Prim is freedom, and the only way to freedom is to fight.

Katniss was motivated by two things:  her love for her sister, and a vision of freedom.  Those two things gave her courage to fight the battle ahead.  They inspired her to keep going, to make the world a better place, even if it cost her her life.

We are all motivated by something.  Some of the things that motivate us actually keep us from doing great things in the world, while others help us to do far greater, nobler things than we could have imagined.  We can be motivated by comfort, by love of ourselves, by fear, by love for others, by an idea of honor, a desire for respect, or by money, fame or a need to please others.

In this respect, Katniss is a lot like Jesus.  He too entered into a fierce battle over the control of the world with Satan.  He too was motivated by love—love for God and love for mankind.  He wanted to see us set free from the bondage and oppression we were living in due to sin and the enemy’s control.  He knew fully well what it would cost him—it would cost him his life.  He wrestled with that at the Garden of Gethsemane, but in the end, he loved God so much he wanted to do his will, and he loved us so much he was more than willing to lay down his life.  Whatever it took, he would do it for our freedom.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
John  10:10

Questions for Discussion:

  • What battles are you facing in your life?
  • What are the things that motivate you?   Are they positive or negative motivations?
  • There’s no better example than Jesus.  Everything he did was because of his love for God, and love for man.  How could love for God first, love for man second inspire you to do greater things in your life?