Begin with a few moments of quiet.
Invite all present to sit comfortably.
When sitting comfortably, take three deep breaths, as you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.
Now return to breathing normally.
Opening ourselves to the Presence of God in our lives
Have a conversation, allowing each person present a few moments to think about and to reply to the following.
Thinking back over the week, let us share with one another
What is it that I want to say thank you for?
What is it that want to say I am sorry for?
Use the following If you would like to listen to some quiet music during this.
Introduce the Gospel
Today is the 5th Sunday of Lent.
Today we hear how a good friend of Jesus falls ill and dies. But death is not the end of life, and Jesus uses this event to show people that he is truly the son of God. Let’s think some more about this today.
We are going to read from the Gospel of John today.
Read the Gospel
Lazarus and his two sisters Martha and Mary were very good friends of Jesus. They lived in a town called Bethany, not far from Jerusalem, and Jesus often went to visit them. One day the sisters sent an urgent message to Jesus because Lazarus was very ill and close to death. Two days later Jesus and his disciples set off for Bethany, but when they arrived they found out that Lazarus was dead and had already been buried for four days.
Martha ran to meet Jesus and said to him ‘Lord, if you had been here you could have saved our brother.’ Jesus said ‘Your brother will live again’. She answered by saying ‘I know that on the last day he will come back to life.’ Jesus turned to her and said ‘Anyone who believes in me will have eternal life, and he will never die. Do you believe this?’ Martha answered him ‘Yes Lord, because I know that you are the son of God.’
When Jesus saw the great sadness of Martha, Mary and their friends, he was filled with love. ‘Show me where he is buried,’ he said. So they took him to the tomb, where Jesus said to them ‘Roll away the stone and you will see God’s glory.’ They did as he said and Jesus looked up to heaven and prayed. ‘Father, I thank you for I know that you always listen to me. Let these people see and believe.’
Then he called out in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, get up and come out.’ To everyone’s amazement Lazarus appeared, still wrapped in burial clothes, and walked from the tomb. Many people saw what happened that day, and they believed in Jesus.
Have a Conversation about the Gospel
Use some of the following questions to help in having a conversation about the message in the Gospel.
- What do you remember about today’s reading?
- How do you think Mary and Martha felt when Jesus didn’t come?
- How do you think they felt when Lazarus came back from the dead?
- If God doesn’t answer our prayers, does it mean he can’t do what we ask?
- Why did Jesus wait before going to Bethany?
- Did any of Jesus’ disciples or friends understand what he was going to do?
- Did Jesus know how his miracle would affect them?
- How did Martha show her faith in Jesus?
- Who believed in Jesus’ power to heal?
End with a prayer
Dear Jesus, we know you want us to always feel alive. Help us to love you with our whole hearts and to feel full of life and joy. Amen
You might like to complete this activity during the coming week as a reminder of this Gospel today.
The following is a short video of the Gospel