Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year A, Primary

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Primary Session
John 11:1-45


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Dear Jesus,
thank you for giving your life for us.
You are the savior of the world.


Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is the saving event of Jesus’ life, Death and Resurrection, the Paschal Mystery. Bring to today’s session several different crosses, crucifixes and/or pictures of crosses and crucifixes. Place them in the center of the meeting space. Begin by asking the children to choose a cross or crucifix that helps remind them of Jesus’ love for them. Invite the children to share with the group how the cross or crucifix they chose reminds them of Jesus’ love. Discuss:

  • Why are the cross and crucifix important symbols for Christians?
  • What does a cross or crucifix help you to remember?
  • What helps you to remember Jesus’ love for you?

Allow time for discussion. The cross and crucifix help to remind us that Jesus saved us. On this Fifth Sunday of Lent we are reminded that from Jesus’ death on the cross came new life.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Gospel today listen to find out how Jesus brings new life to his friend Lazarus.

Read John 11:1-45.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • What happens when Jesus hears about his friend Lazarus?
  • How does Jesus show his love for Martha, Mary, and Lazarus?
  • How does Jesus bring his friend Lazarus back to life?


Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the gospel using the Catechist Background section.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus performs his greatest miracle. It is clear that Jesus loves Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, and he is saddened by the death of his friend Lazarus. However Jesus knows that his friend will rise again. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. In raising Lazarus from death to life, Jesus proves what he says in verses 25-26: “I am the resurrection and the life: whoever believes in me, though he should die, will come to life; and whoever is alive and believes in me will never die.”

Today’s Gospel shows that Jesus is the savior of the world. Jesus brought his friend Lazarus back to life. This miracle sheds light on the saving event of Christ’s dying and rising, his Paschal Mystery.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • Why does the death of Lazarus make Jesus sad?
  • Why does Jesus bring Lazarus back to life?
  • How does Jesus show that he is the savior of the world?

[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

The Paschal Mystery in the Sacraments

The Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ is the term used for the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus suffered and died on the cross and then rose from the dead. Jesus died and rose to new life so that we could have new life in him. God loves us so much that he sent Jesus to save us.

The life and saving event of Jesus is celebrated in the Sacraments. The sacraments communicate God’s saving love to believers today. When we take part in Mass we celebrate Christ’s Paschal Mystery. Easter is the prime moment when the Paschal Mystery is celebrated. But it is not only on Sunday and Easter that we are reminded of the Paschal Mystery. The saving event of Jesus is realized every time there is healing and hope after suffering and loss.

  • What is the Paschal Mystery?
  • Why did Jesus die on the cross?
  • How does God show his love for us?


The Gospel in Life

How can you remind others of God’s love this week?

Posted in: Sessions A