TWENTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME — Year C

*Alternate* Gospel: John 11:1-3; 17-45

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.

There was a certain man named Lazarus, who was sick. He and his sisters, Mary and Martha, were from the village of Bethany. Mary was the one who had anointed the feet of Jesus with perfume and dried his feet with her hair, and it was her brother Lazarus who was sick. The sisters sent this message to Jesus: “Rabbi, the one you love is sick.”

When Jesus arrived in Bethany, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Since Bethany was only about two miles from Jerusalem, many people had come out to console Martha and Mary about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, while Mary stayed at home with the mourners.

When she got to Jesus, Martha said, “If you had been here, my brother would never have died! Yet even now, I am sure that God will give you whatever you ask.”

“Your brother will rise again!” Jesus assured her. Martha replied, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

Jesus told her,

“I am the Resurrection,
and I am the Life:
those who believe in me
will live, even if they die;
and those who are alive and believe in me
will never die.

“Do you believe this?”

“Yes!” Martha replied. “I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, God’s Only Begotten, the One who is coming into the world.”

When she had said this, Martha went back and called her sister Mary. “The Teacher is here, asking for you,” she whispered.

As soon as Mary heard this, she got up and went to him. Jesus hadn’t gotten to the village yet. He was at the place where Martha had met him. Those who were there consoling her saw her get up quickly and followed Mary, thinking she was going to the tomb to mourn. When Mary got to Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “If you had been here, Lazarus never would have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the other mourners as well, he was troubled in spirit, moved by the deepest emotions.

“Where have you laid him?” Jesus asked.

“Come and see,” they said. And Jesus wept.

The people in the crowd began to remark, “See how much he loved him!” Others said, “He made the blind person see, why couldn’t he have done something to prevent Lazarus’ death?”

Jesus was again deeply moved. They approached the tomb, which was a cave with a stone in front of it. “Take away the stone,” Jesus directed.

Martha said, “Rabbi, it has been four days now. By this time there will be a stench.”

Jesus replied, “Didn’t I assure you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took the stone away.

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Abba, thank you for having heard me. I know that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd, that they might believe that you sent me.”

Then Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

And Lazarus came out of the tomb, still bound hand and foot with linen strips, his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus told the crowd, “Untie him and let him go free.”

Many of those who had come to console Martha and Mary, and saw what Jesus did, put their faith in him.

The Good News as spoken through John.