Mass Readings for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B
- First Reading – Jeremiah 31:31-34: God will make a new covenant with his people, which will be different from the old one. This new covenant will be written on the hearts of the people, enabling them to know God intimately and to obey him from the heart.
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 51: A prayer for God’s mercy and forgiveness, asking Him to create a clean heart within us and renew our spirits. The psalmist also expresses his desire to teach others God’s ways and lead them to repentance.
- Second Reading – Hebrews 5:7-9: Jesus is the perfect high priest who offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins and was obedient to God’s will, even unto death. Through his sacrifice, Jesus has made it possible for us to approach God with confidence and to receive mercy and grace in our time of need.
- Gospel –John 12:20-33: Jesus predicts his death and the need for us to follow and serve him, even if it means giving up our own lives for his sake. Through our service to Jesus and by giving up our lives for his sake, we can inherit eternal life and share in his glory.
If your parish is doing the RCIA scrutinies, use the readings for Year A instead.
Themes for the Mass Readings for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B
The readings for the 5th Sunday of Lent for Year B focus on God’s covenant with us, even though we are often unfaithful. The first reading speaks of a new covenant. The second reading speaks of the obedience of Jesus Christ brought about our salvation. And in the gospel Jesus foretells his death and explains that those who follow him will find eternal life.
- The new covenant: The first reading for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B speaks of a new covenant that God will make with his people. This new covenant will not be like the old one, which was written on stone tablets, but will be written on the hearts of the people. The new covenant will enable the people to know God intimately and to obey him from the heart.
- Jesus as the high priest: The second reading from the letter to the Hebrews speaks of Jesus as the high priest who offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus is the perfect high priest because he is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, having been tempted in every way that we are, yet he did not sin. Through his sacrifice on the cross, Jesus has made it possible for us to approach God with confidence and to receive mercy and grace in our time of need.
- Obedience to God’s will: The second reading for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B also emphasizes the importance of obedience to God’s will. Just as Jesus was obedient to God’s will even unto death, so too are we called to be obedient to God’s will. Through obedience, we can be transformed and become more like Jesus.
- Jesus’ prediction of his death: Jesus tells his disciples that the hour has come for him to be glorified, but that this will happen through his death on the cross. Jesus speaks of the need for us to follow him and to serve him, even if it means giving up our own lives for his sake.
- The need to follow and serve Jesus: The Gospel reading for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B emphasizes the need for us to follow and serve Jesus. Jesus tells his disciples that whoever serves him must follow him, and that where he is, there his servant will also be. Through our service to Jesus, we can become like him and share in his glory.
- Giving up our lives: The Gospel reading for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B also speaks of the glory that awaits those who follow and serve Jesus. Jesus tells his disciples that whoever loves his life will lose it, but whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. By giving up our lives for Jesus’ sake, we can inherit eternal life and share in his glory.
Resources for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B
Jesus tells us that unless a grain of wheat dies and falls to the ground, it will remain just a grain. This reflection will help youth consider the question of how death can lead to new life. This is a youth ministry reflection for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B.
The Paschal Mystery is God’s plan for the salvation of mankind, as fulfilled in the passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has shown us that death does not have the final word.
Lenten Ideas for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B
For most of us, cleaning the house probably isn’t our favorite thing to do. But it is an act of love for our families. And listing to praise and worship songs while doing chores reminds us of that.
From time to time it is good to think about our own mortality and how Jesus brings us from death into life through His sacrifice on the cross. A visit to a cemetery is a good way to do this
Stations of the Cross are a lovely Lenten tradition. It the devotion, we make the journey to Calvary with our Lord Jesus Christ, focusing on how he suffered for us and his interactions with those he met on the way.
Hot cross buns are traditionally served during Lent, particularly on Good Friday in some parts of the world. The cross on them reminds us of the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ. The spices used in them are reminders of the fragrant spices used during burial at the time.
It is so easy to fall into the habit of complaining. Try to give up complaining for Lent. To really not complain at all is more difficult than it sounds. So don’t complain about anything. At all. Really.
See specific ideas for practicing prayer, fasting, and almsgiving for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B and throughout the Lenten season.
Homilies and Reflections for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B
Jeff Cavins shows us how to overcome the fear of death as he reflects on the Sunday Readings for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B.
A homily for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B from Bishop Robert Barron. “Friends, one of the most fundamental beliefs of the Biblical Israelites is that God is a covenant-maker. He formed his people through a series of agreements and contracts saying, “I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God and they will be my people.” This law comes into our hearts precisely through the Eucharist, which is nothing other than a representation of the cross of Jesus.”
A reflection for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B from Scott Hahn. “Our readings today are filled with anticipation. The days are coming, Jeremiah prophesies in today’s First Reading. The hour has come, Jesus says in the Gospel. The new covenant that God promised to Jeremiah is made in the ‘hour’ of Jesus—in His Death, Resurrection, and Ascension to the Father’s right hand.” Continue reading.
More Thoughts for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B
Written on Our Hearts
The first reading for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B is a beautiful promise of God’s love and mercy. In this passage, God is making a new covenant with his people. This new covenant is not like the old one that was made with their ancestors, which they broke. This new covenant is a covenant that will be written on their hearts.
This new covenant is a promise of forgiveness and love. God is saying that he will remember their sins no more. This is a powerful promise because it means that God will not hold our sins against us. He will not keep a record of our wrongdoings. Instead, he will forgive us and love us. This is a promise that should bring great comfort to all who hear it.
The idea of a covenant written on the heart is also significant. It means that this covenant is not just an external agreement or contract, but it is something that is internalized and personalized. It becomes a part of who we are. When we accept this covenant, it changes us from the inside out. It transforms our hearts and our lives.
This new covenant is not just a promise of forgiveness and love, but it is also a promise of a new relationship with God. It is a promise of intimacy and closeness with him. When we accept this covenant, we become his people, and he becomes our God. We are no longer estranged from him, but we are brought near to him.
In the gospel for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B, Jesus speaks of his upcoming death and the necessity of it. He tells his followers that unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a single grain. But if it dies, it produces much fruit. Jesus is using this analogy to explain that his death will bear much fruit. His death will bring salvation to all who believe in him. But he is also telling his followers that following him requires sacrifice. We must be willing to let go of our own desires and wills and follow the will of God.
This can be a difficult and painful process, just as it was for Jesus on the cross. Jesus himself had to surrender his own will and desires to the will of the Father. He had to endure the pain and suffering of the cross to accomplish the Father’s plan of salvation. But through this sacrifice, Jesus brought great glory to God. His death and resurrection brought salvation to all who believe in him. And his life and teachings continue to inspire and transform countless lives.
Through our own sacrifices, we too can bear much fruit and bring glory to God. Our sacrifice may not be as dramatic as that of Jesus, but it is still important. It may involve giving up our time, talents, or resources to serve others. It may involve forgiving someone who has hurt us. It may involve putting the needs of others before our own.
Whatever form our sacrifice takes, we can be assured that it will bear fruit. It will bring glory to God and help to build his kingdom on earth. So let us be willing to follow Jesus, even when it requires sacrifice. Let us be willing to let go of our own desires and wills, and follow the will of God.
Reflection Questions for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B
- How does the idea of a covenant written on the heart differ from an external agreement or contract?
- What does it mean for God to remember our sins no more, and how should this promise affect our lives?
- How can we apply the analogy of the grain of wheat to our own lives? What sacrifices might we need to make in order to bear fruit and bring glory to God?
- Why is it important to let go of our own desires and wills in order to follow the will of God?
- How can we cultivate intimacy and closeness with God through accepting the new covenant?
Social Media Graphic for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B
Jesus made Himself like the grain of wheat that falls to the ground and dies to give life. Our hope springs from that love-filled life.