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Today’s reading comes from chapter 12 of John’s Gospel. Falling on the fifth Sunday of Lent, our passage prepares us for Holy Week.

In the first part of our reading, Jesus offers a metaphor. Knowing his passion is near, Jesus seeks to prepare his disciples for his death and shed light on its purpose. Jesus proclaims, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”

Like the grain of wheat, Jesus’ death will produce life for those who believe. But those who believe must also make sacrifices—just as Jesus did for us on the cross.

In the second part of our reading, Jesus shares a prayer with God. But instead of asking God to save him from death, he asks, “Father, glorify your name.” To which God responds from the heavens, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.”

In John’s Gospel, Jesus clarifies that God’s response was not for his sake but for that of his followers.

There are many lessons in this passage, but the one we will focus on today is at the core of our mission and discipleship as followers of Jesus.

Whether for family or friends, we all know what it’s like to make sacrifices. But CMMB’s Children and Mothers Partnerships (CHAMPS) manager in Haiti, Joanne Baptiste, makes sacrifices every single day.

joanne and a baby in cotes de fer

Joanne and a baby during a home visit

We recently shared Joanne’s story in recognition of International Women’s Day. But her dedication, strength, and daily sacrifices are worth recognizing all year long. And step into the community with Joanne and you will see that the people she serves know this too. To conclude this week’s reflection, we are sharing an excerpt from her story.

Walking around Côtes-de-Fer with Joanne is like walking around with a local celebrity. She is inundated by greetings: “Bonswa Ms Joanne!” “Bonjou Joanne!” “Kijan ou ye, Ms Joanne?” She knows everyone and everyone knows her. The love she has for her community is undeniable. And it is remarkable – though not surprising – to see just how much her community loves her back. Her commitment to improving their lives means that people are incredibly grateful.

As we prepare for Holy Week, we encourage you to find inspiration in the sacrifices of others. Joanne is one of the many women who inspire us, and we encourage you to read her full story.

In grace and peace,


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