"I am the resurrection and the life"

The Fifth Sunday of Lent's Gospel story of the raising of Lazarus narrative in John's Gospel (11:1-44) is the climax of the signs of Jesus. The story is situated shortly before Jesus is captured, tried and crucified. It is the event that most directly results in his condemnation by those seeking to kill him.

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions

Fifth Sunday of Lent, Apr. 6, 2014 (5LentA)
From the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University

Sunday Mass Readings  
Podcast of the Readings 
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios 
Prayer of the Hours
Why do we say the Rosary at Catholic funerals?

Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.

First Reading

Book of Ezekiel, Chapter 37, Verses 12-14

1. God makes two promises to Israel, “I will bring you up from your graves. I will put my spirit within you and you shall live.” On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate these two gifts God promised? Are these promises made to you also?

2. Would your actions change if you really believed you had access to the Holy Spirit at all times? How?

Responsorial Psalms
Psalm 130: 1-8

1. The Psalmist 'cries out' to the Lord for mercy. Have you also cried out to the Lord for forgiveness because of your sins? What was the outcome of your prayer?

2. The Psalm says that 'with the Lord there is fullness of redemption.' Do you believe that the Lord will save you from the consequences of your sins? What does the Lord ask of you in return?

Second Reading
Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, Chapter 8, Verses 8-11

1. Discuss von Balthasar’s idea that if you are guided by the Spirit rather than by the flesh “the germ of divine, eternal life already lives in you with this Spirit and you hold a ‘down-payment,’ as it were, a ticket to God’s life.”

2. St. Paul said, “Those of you who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Do you think he meant, “Those of you who are led by the temptations of the flesh cannot please God”? What is the difference??

According to John, Chapter l1, Verses 1-45

1. How does the raising of Lazarus point to Jesus’ words,” I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live”? Compare Jesus’ statement, “Untie him and let him go,” with Moses’ statement to the Pharaoh, “Let my people go.”

2. How would you feel if there were no life after death? But Jesus won the battle over death. What does that mean to you? In all these readings we are encouraged to choose life when faced with “death.” How do you do that in your daily life?

Online Sunday Bible Study Group
Please share your reflections on the above Sunday Readings. May we be blessed by God's words as reflected in your thoughts and experience-sharing.

1 comment:

  1. Barry Lamont9:42 AM

    The psalmist calls to the Lord
    from “out of the depths” of his sin
    that has brought him near to death (Verse 1).
    He asks the Lord, “Hear my cry” for mercy (Verse 2).
    He waits with longing for the Lord,
    knowing that God forgives,
    and redeems us,
    even when we abandon Him (Verse 5).
    “My soul looks for the Lord
    more than sentinels for daybreak.”(Verse 6)

    We too await with hope for redemption,
    knowing that even if we are dead in our sins,
    the Lord will revive us.
    This is a promise made to us,
    just as the Lord promised the Israelites (1st reading)
    that he would open their graves
    and put his Spirit within them,
    so they would live.
    That same Spirit raised Jesus from the dead,
    and St. Paul tells us the Spirit of God
    will give life to our mortal bodies too (2nd reading).
    This is that “full redemption”
    the psalmist talks about (Verse 7)
    that is later made real to us
    in the Gospel story of Lazarus.
    We too can receive
    that same spirit of redemption
    when we cry out to the Lord for forgiveness –
    as in Verse 2 of the Psalm,
    “Lord, may your ears be attentive
    to my cry for mercy.”
    Truly, 'Our God is an awesome God.'