Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for March 26, 2023

Reflection for March 26, 2023

Do you believe this?

In the final days of Lent, Jesus' message  is simple but  profound

by Sister Rose Jochmann

Can you believe it – it is already the fifth week of Lent. How are you doing on your Lenten resolutions?

In the Gospel this week, we hear the story of the death of Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary and a close friend of Jesus. This is one of the stories in the Gospels which gives us a vivid picture. Jesus hears that Lazarus is ill, but he does not hurry to go to him. When Jesus does finally arrive in town, Lazarus has been in the tomb four days. Martha runs to meet him. Weeping, Martha says to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”.  Jesus asks where they have laid him. When they arrive at the tomb, Jesus is perturbed and weeps. Jesus says, “Take away the stone”.  They protest, “By now there will be a stench: he has been dead for four days.”  Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”  Lazarus came out, tied hand and foot with the burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So, Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” (Paraphrased John 11: 1-45)

In conversation between Jesus and Martha, she states that her brother will rise. She says clearly, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.”  But Jesus tells her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live. And everyone who believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”  This statement and question are for you and me, too. Do you and I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the one who came into the world?

Jesus the Christ has come into our world and to each of us with his presence and love. We don’t have to request this love and presence; Christ is with us.  Let us open ourselves to Christ and Christ’s love which is given to us in abundance.


Sister Sally Ann
03/24/2023 6:28 am

Thank you, Sister Rose, for posing for our reflection the essential question:Do I/we believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who has become one of us and who suffered and died AND ROSE FOR LOVE OF US? What answer will I give each day to this invitation to believe…in prayer, in repentance, in sacrificial charity? And not only during Lent.

Sr Laura
03/24/2023 9:07 am

Thanks Rose, your reflection challenges me each day to ask the question; do I believe that the paschal mystery is an essential part of how I live my life as a Christian.

Diann Wimmer
03/24/2023 9:31 am

Many thanks, Sr. Rose, for applying this Gospel to us and to our life experience. Indeed it is in abundance that Jesus gives new life to us. Your reflection is a beautiful prelude to the coming celebration of the new life of Easter.

03/24/2023 12:09 pm

This story of JESUS' and Martha's conversation found only in John's gospel is so endearing and so deeply engaging. It involves all human emotions, all our senses, all honesty and all that is at the heart-of authentic, fulfilling, and meaningful relationships.

Later in the story, Martha's and Lazarus' sister, Mary, enters the scene and also confronts JESUS with the same lamentation of grief that Martha did, "If you had been here, LORD, my brother would not have died." [Jn.11:32]

It is so amazing, wondrous, and awesome to me that Martha actually makes the same profession of faith that Peter is credited with making in all three non-Johannine gospels: " You are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” [John.11:27; Matthew 16:13-20, Mark 8:27–30 and Luke 9:18–20]

Yet, we 'in the pews' are never instructed to 'open our ears' to this woman's declaration the way we have always been told to 'hear' Peter's declaration.

Why haven't we learned how Martha -- and Mary -- were very strong, faith-filled women leaders in the early church, the way we have learned about the men believers?

It is a question I pray with. And I hope the entire church prays with and dialogs with this question, too.

There is a true and real need for the church to not only recognize women's gifts, but to encourage them, call them forth, affirm them, and utilize them to their fullest potential the way that God created and gifted women for the greater good of all.

The World, in These Times we are living in, cry out for women's gifts of healing, reconciliation, understanding, compassion, empathy, creativity, courageous and unquenchable Love for ALL Children that will not be 'stuffed under a bushel basket.'

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