Livonia, Michigan

Fifth Sunday of Lent

By the Faithful Disciple


In today’s Gospel, we see so clearly the fully human nature of Jesus even in the midst of him revealing his divine nature in raising Lazarus from the dead. On hearing that his friend Lazarus had died, Jesus “wept,” and he became “perturbed and deeply troubled.” We see his love for Martha and Mary, and the freedom he gives them to love him fully in return, and to expect things of him. Each of them confronts Jesus, exasperated: Had you come earlier, our brother would not have died! Yet in the same breath, they express their faith that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. As we continue our Lenten journey, we can rest assured that Jesus is never far from us and that he understands our human longings, struggles and pain. Like Martha and Mary, we can place our faith in Jesus here, now and for eternity.


The raising of Lazarus foreshadows Christ’s death and resurrection and reminds us of God’s enduring power over death. That can, at times, seem a small comfort as we confront our own mortality or mourn the loss of those dear to us. Yet, just as Jesus showed his love for Lazarus, Martha and Mary, we, too, can extend our love and support for others in their grief. We can show our love through our simple presence, a thoughtful card or an offer to pray for the deceased person and their family. In these ways, we can strengthen our own faith and that of others. As we hear in today’s Gospel, “Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him.”


As we grow closer to Holy Week, now is a good time to participate in the sacrament of reconciliation. Has it been a while? The U.S. Bishops provide a helpful guide on their website: