Fifth Sunday of Lent

Year B / Sunday, March 21, 2021

This Sunday’s Readings:

     Jeremiah 31:31–34 

     Psalm 51:3–4, 12–3, 14–15 

     Hebrews 5:7–9 

     John 12:20–33 

“WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE JESUS.” That is the opening request given to the disciples in today’s Gospel by those from the outside of Jesus’s circle of followers. Throughout John’s Gospel, to see and hear Jesus is to know Jesus and to know the Father. By extension, to see and hear Jesus’s followers is to encounter Jesus himself, for, as the Gospel says, where Jesus is, there will his servants be. We see this intimate unity between Jesus and his disciples (meaning us) foreshadowed in the abundant fruit that his followers will yield if they die to themselves in imitation of Jesus. In Jesus’s prayer before his arrest, we will hear again of the intimate unity between Father and Son and, thus, between Son and those who have received the Spirit of love shared by the Father and Son. 

As we near the end of Lent and the time when we must renew our baptismal vows as followers of Jesus and “other Christs,” can it be said of us that Jesus will be seen wherever his servants are? If those from outside the circle of our parish communities listen in to our daily conversations, will they hear Jesus’s words of self-giving love? If they witness our actions in the world, will they see and know the Lord in their midst? 

—Diana Macalintal 

Suggested Music

Expanded listings for Sundays and Solemnities can be found at


Covenant. When was the last time you used that word? We make promises to do things for other people. We try to make resolutions each New Year. We feel we have obligations that need to be fulfilled. But a covenant? That’s not a word we hear every day. Covenant seems to have more weight than just a simple promise. A covenant creates a bond so strong that nothing can break it. It is engrained in the fiber of our beings. That is how strong God’s promises are to us. His promise of forgiveness. His promise to be with us always. His promise of eternal life.

– Victoria Zibell

Before the Fruit Is Ripened by the Sun

Randall Sensmeier

G-4027 · Two equal or mixed voices or SATB, organ

Unless a Grain of Wheat Falls in the Earth

Marty Haugen

G-9016 · SAB, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, opt. oboe and string quartet

O Christ, You Are the Seed that Died

Paul Inwood, Text by Delores Dufner

009043 · SATB, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar


That I May Serve You

Janèt Sullivan Whitaker

008991 · SATB, assembly, keyboard, guitar

Unless a Grain of Wheat

John Angotti

008253 · SATB, cantor, keyboard, guitar

More suggestions for the Fifth Sunday of Lent…


A New Commandment • Michael Phillip Ward

SATB, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, flute


Come Follow Me • Arr. John Leavitt

Two equal or mixed voices, keyboard


Create in Me a Clean Heart • Eurydice V. Osterman



Enter In • Kathleen Basi

Two-part choir, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, flute


Pan del Cielo/Bread of Heaven • Eleazar Cortés

Two-part choir, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, marimba


Seasons Turn • Thomas Keesecker, Text by Delores Dufner, OSB

SATB, piano, guitar                                                                   


The Cross of Jesus • Francis Patrick O’Brien

SAB, assembly, keyboard, guitar, opt. 2 C instruments and cello


The Road Leads on Again • Bob Moore, Text by Richard Leach

Two mixed voices, assembly, keyboard, guitar, C instrument