Small Group Sharing

5th Sunday of Lent (A)

Hope in a Time of Loss

What was the last funeral you attended? Was the deceased close to you? Did you need time to grieve?

In spite of all our efforts, we cannot escape death. How we face death, however, can help determine our quality of life. Does the end of life give us despair or hope? In the story of Lazarus, John challenges us to see hope in death through the eyes of faith.

FIRST READING — How do you find hope in the midst of gloom? How does God give you hope in your times of darkness?

PSALM – When do you seek forgiveness? Why do you seek it? How have you prayed for forgiveness? How has God heard your prayer?

SOURCE: Larry Broding | Word-Sunday

SECOND READING – Are you comfortable with your present life insurance coverage? How have you renewed your eternal life insurance policy today?

GOSPEL – How can faith strengthen you in your loss? Do you know of anyone who has lost a loved one and who has become stronger because of faith? Does the idea of death inspire faith or doubt? Share your answer with the Lord in prayer.

Our Sunday Readings – Study Guide

SOURCE: Edrianne Ezell
Small group faith sharing scripture study by VInce Contreras

Study Questions

  • How does the First Reading relate to the events in the Gospel? What are it’s implications for all those who hope in Christ?
  • According to St. Paul in the 2nd Reading, why should we put our trust in Christ’s promise of the resurrection (Rom 8:10-11)?
  • In the Gospel, why does Jesus deliberately delay in his response (John 11:6)? Given the disciple’s objection (John 11:8), what do you think Jesus means by his parable in John 11:9-10?
  • Why does Jesus return to Lazarus when he does (John 11:11-15)? What do the disciples fear instead (John 11:8,16)? How would you feel if you were Martha or Mary and you heard that Jesus had finally come? What do you learn about Martha from the way she talks to Jesus in John 11:21-27? How does Jesus stretch her faith by his claim in John 11:25? How does this relate to his claim in John 10:9?
  • How is Mary’s greeting (John 11:32) like and unlike Martha’s? Since Jesus knew he was going to
    raise Lazarus (John 11:11), how do you account for his weeping (John 11:34)?
  • Have you ever felt like God was not listening when you prayed? How did you deal with this? How does the way in which Jesus postponed his response to the sisters’ request help you in understanding your own prayer life?
SOURCE: Sunday Scripture Study for Catholics