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5th Sunday of Lent (Ages 3-6): The Voice that Calls by Name

5th Sunday of Lent, Year A

  • 3-6 year olds

(Adults, begin by reading the Gospel aloud to the child.)

John 11.3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45

(full reading: John 11.1-45)


In the Gospel for this Sunday, we hear about a family of Jesus' friends, Martha, Mary and Lazarus--two sisters and a brother. Jesus loves his friend Lazarus, but Lazarus becomes ill and dies.


We hear that,

Jesus began to weep.

We know that people often get very sad--they feel sorrow--when someone dies. Jesus does, too.


What does Jesus do?

Jesus goes to the tomb where the people have put Lazarus' dead body. In Jesus' time, when someone died, people would wrap the dead body in cloths smelling of beautiful oils and spices. This would show how much they had loved that person. They would place the body in a tomb--a cave made out of rock--and roll a large stone over the opening. This would keep animals out of the tomb. The tomb would be dark and there would be no air in there, but that would not matter because the person was no longer alive. The dead do not need light or air.


Jesus says,

“Take away the stone.”

The people are confused. Why should they roll away the stone? Lazarus has been dead for 4 days. He cannot see light or breathe air. But the people do what Jesus says.

Then Jesus calls out in a loud voice,

“Lazarus, come out!”

What is the first word that Jesus says?

Lazarus.

He calls his friend by name.

We know that the Good Shepherd,

calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (John 10:3b)

Here is Jesus, the Good Shepherd, calling his friend by name. So, what happens?

Lazarus comes out! (photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash)

Lazarus,

came out

He comes out of the dark tomb! Lazarus is alive once more!

Jesus leads Lazarus out of the tomb by calling his name!

Just think! What kind of voice does Jesus have???

The voice of the Good Shepherd calls the sheep

...out of darkness into light...

...out of death into life...

...out of sorrow into joy...


I wonder, does he only call Lazarus by name? Or does he call others by name, too?

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