back to top
HomeHomilySunday Homily - 26 March 2023

Sunday Homily – 26 March 2023

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Also Read: Mass Readings for 26 March 2023 Mass Reading Reflection for 26 March 2023

Gospel: John 11: 1-45

Today’s gospel offers one miracle for the unbeliever, and many surprises for a believer in Jesus Christ. Jesus raising a dead man is a miracle for the unbeliever. For the believer, who knows that Jesus is the God of life, who can bring the dead back to life, there are other surprises.

Jesus was considerably away from Bethania when his friend Lazarus fell sick. Without any message, Jesus announced to His apostles that Lazarus was dead. That does not surprise a believer.

Jesus asked the small group that greeted Him at the gate of the town, “Where have you laid him?” Why did Jesus need directions from them to locate the tomb? It is a hidden miracle. It is the first puzzle among the three major puzzles.

Jesus was led by the crowd to the tomb. Jesus stood in front of the tomb and said, “Take away the stone.” Moving a stone is not as difficult as raising a dead man. Jesus stood in front of the tomb determined to resurrect Lazarus. A word from Jesus was enough to move the stone. Then why did Jesus ask his apostles and disciples to move the stone? It is the second puzzle.

Finally, Lazarus was back to life. He stood in front of the small crowd ‘tied hand and foot with burial bands’. Jesus gave a third command, “Untie him and let him go.” Could not Jesus employ the angels to untie and set him free? Why did Jesus use some mortals to set Lazarus free? It is the third puzzle to be solved.

Jesus was not interested in amused onlookers or amazed admirers. He was inviting collaborators. While doing the miracle, He let man collaborate. It is divine dignity. It is divine mercy. It is the key to the puzzle. You are invited to collaborate with Jesus to bring life back to the dead. You are invited to help sinners back to Jesus.

This group of ‘miracles’ reveal the mystery of confession. Sin is death. Only God can liberate anyone from the chains of sin. Liberation from sin is a miracle that is celebrated in the Church. Confession is a miracle where God lets us mortals collaborate to bring the sinner back to grace. There are three ways to collaborate.

1. Lead Jesus to the sinner. When you are talking of Jesus to anyone you are taking Jesus to him/her. You can take Jesus to many by words and deeds. Jesus is looking forward to you taking Him to those who are in need of His special intervention.

2. ‘Take away the stone!’ Jesus is repeating the same command today. We need to remove the stones of our prejudices. Remember, Martha was against removing the stone. If Jesus can raise a dead man, He can convert a sinner to a saint. So let us be keen to remove the stones.

3. Finally, ‘Untie and let him go!’ Humans are allowed and asked to untie the bondage of sin, through the sacrament of confession. The priests are ordained to untie the effects of sin at the confessional. 

Thus, this group of miracles can be perceived as a parable in action on confession. As we are just a week away from the holy week, help ourselves with a good confession, and help others to receive the joy of a good confession.


Fr. Bobby Joseph CMI
Fr. Bobby Joseph CMI
Hello, I am Fr. Bobby Joseph CMI, a Catholic priest belonging to the Indian Carmelite order, Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), founded by three pious 19th-century priests: Fr. Thomas Palackal, Fr. Thomas Porukara, and St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara. Currently, I work as a missionary priest working in Peru. May God bless you all!

Share your thoughts


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!

Access Catholic Videos
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to access Mass Readings and Prayers as videos.
No Thanks