Fifth Sunday of Lent

Sunday, March 26th


Ez 37: 12-14
Ps 130: 1-8
Rom 8: 8-11
Jn 11: 1-45


… she went and called her sister Mary and told her privately,
“The Teacher is here and is asking for you.” John 11: 20, 28

As I re-read this Gospel, a detail that I had not noticed before caught my attention: “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home.”

This detail and the story that follows offer a slightly different picture of these sisters and their relationship than what we see in Luke 10 (“Mary has chosen the better part…”) by highlighting Martha’s faith and care for her sister. Following Martha’s encounter with Jesus and confession of faith, she goes to her sister and tells her—without judgment or criticism—that Jesus is asking for her. The two sisters then go together to find him.

This story is not only about Jesus’ power over death, but also our own power to be God’s grace and life for others. When a sister or neighbor is struggling with grief or despair, we are called to be like Martha, gently reminding them that “the Teacher is here and is asking for you” so that together we can experience hope and new life in Christ.


Jesus, you were moved with compassion for everyone you encountered. Give us tender hearts and move us to active care for all who suffer and grieve.
Try to imagine yourself in this story: Who are you? What are you feeling? What are Jesus’ words to you?

Personal Challenge

Make a point of reaching out to someone who you know is struggling and remind her/him of God’s love.

Jessica Wrobleski, CSJ Associate
Cleveland, OH

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