March 18: Fifth Sunday of Lent, Cycle B

First Reading
2 Chronicles 36:14-16,19-23
The causes for the Israelites’ captivity in Babylon are described.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 51:3-4,12-13,14-15
A prayer for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Second Reading
Hebrews 5:7-9
Through his sufferings, Jesus gained salvation for all who obey him.

Gospel Reading
John 12:20-33
Jesus teaches his disciples about the way in which he will be glorified by God, and a voice from heaven is heard to affirm this teaching.

Today’s Gospel reading is taken from the Gospel of John. We are reading much further into John’s Gospel than we have for the past two weeks. Chapter 12 of John’s Gospel is a preparation for the beginning of the passion narrative to follow. Jesus has just raised Lazarus from the dead—an important sign in John’s Gospel, which inspired many people to believe in Jesus. This event also marks the turning point in Jesus’ conflict with the Jewish authorities. John’s Gospel tells us that the Sanhedrin met after this event and made plans to kill Jesus. In the 12th chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus is anointed at Bethany and enters Jerusalem in triumph. We again see evidence of the significance of the raising of Lazarus to this event; John reports that the crowds also gathered to see Lazarus.

Following his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus predicted his suffering, death, and Resurrection and prepared his disciples to believe in the salvation that his death would accomplish. Using the metaphor of the grain of wheat, Jesus presented the idea that his dying would be beneficial. He also taught that those who would be his disciples must follow his example of sacrifice. This theme will be repeated in John’s account of the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as an example of how they must serve one another.




The final section of today’s Gospel might be read as John’s parallel to the agony in the garden. Unlike the Synoptic Gospels, the Gospel of John does not record Jesus’ anguished prayer in the garden of Gethsemane before his arrest. Although comparable words are found in today’s reading, Jesus gives a confident response to the question he raises when asking God to save him from his impending death. After announcing his conviction that it is for this purpose that he came, a voice from heaven speaks, as if in answer to Jesus’ prayer. This voice, like the one heard at Jesus’ baptism and at Jesus’ Transfiguration—events reported in the Synoptic Gospels but not in John’s Gospel—affirms that God welcomes the sacrifice that Jesus will make on behalf of others. In John’s Gospel, Jesus teaches that this voice was sent for the sake of those who would believe in him.

In today’s Gospel, we also hear Jesus speak about the cosmic framework against which we are to understand his passion, death, and Resurrection. Through his death and Resurrection, Jesus conquered Satan, the ruler of this world. In this way the world is judged, but the judgment is not condemnation. Instead, through Jesus’ dying and rising, salvation is brought to the world.


Family Connection

Family life is often a balancing act in which we prioritize and attend to a variety of competing needs. We learn the value of putting others’ needs ahead of our own. In family life we also learn that when we make personal sacrifices to serve others, we gain so much more than we may have lost.

As you gather as a family, talk about how important it is to your family life to gladly serve one another. Ask each person to consider the last time that another family member asked for help.
What was your response? Did you cheerfully try to honor the request, or did you ask “Why me?” Read today’s Gospel, John 12:20-33. How do you think Jesus would want us to respond when someone in our family asks for help? Invite each family member to make a commitment for the next week to try to respond cheerfully to requests for help. Pray together, asking God’s help with this commitment. Pray the Prayer of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.














The Journey of Jesus of Nazareth Lent reaches its climax during Holy Week, itseif a journey within a journey. The pace of be continued


March 25: Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion
Tom Shanahan, S.J. Liturgically, Palm Sunday ushers in the dramatic events of Holy Week. As Jesus triumphantly enters be continued


March 28: HOLY THURSDAY – Evening Mass of the Lord'
This reflection is coming soon. Until then, here is a reflection written by Larry Gillick, S.J., in 2000. It is the "Passover of be continued


March 30: GOOD FRIDAY of the Lord's Passion
Candice Tucci, O.S.F. Pieta Detail Today we read, hear and pray the Passion of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. This day, we be continued


Alexander, S.J. On Holy Saturday, there is no liturgy at all. The liturgy this evening is the vigil - the preparation for and entry be continued


March 18: Fifth Sunday of Lent 
Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan
Now there were some Greeks among those who had come up to be continued


March 18: Fifth Sunday of Lent, Cycle B
Today’s Gospel reading is taken from the Gospel of John. We be continued


March 11: Fourth Sunday of Lent 
Andy Alexander, S.J.
Today is Laetare Sunday, so named because the Introit or be continued


March 11: Fourth Sunday of Lent, Cycle B
The fourth Sunday of Lent is sometimes called Laetare Sunday be continued



PROPOSALS FOR MEDITATION - We want to offer spiritual texts, which can be of help to nourish our faith and strengthen our life in Christ: they are an opportunity to compare our experience with that of Christian witnesses 'old' and contemporary.

Contemplating the Gospels- Andy Otto
God’s Vulnerability ... - Cara Callbeck

The Lamb that was slain has delivered us from death ...- Melito of Sardis
The perfection of love - Saint Augustine
The power of Christ's blood St. John Chrysostom
Way of the Cross - Pope Francis
“Do not be afraid!” - Pope Francis
We keep the coming feast of the Lord through deeds ...- Saint Athanasius
Christ offered himself for us - St. Fulgentius of Ruspe
"Interview between Jesus and Nicodemus"- Daniella Zsupan-Jerome
Christ is the way to the loght, the truth and the life ... - Saint Augustine





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