The Word of God

The Whole World Cries

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 22, 2020

Have you ever wondered about the “science of crying”? It seems that over a long period of human development, we have come to a point where our tears are produced from certain specific-oriented glands due to an authentic connection with the world. Tears are a positive representation of who we are. They demonstrate our deep connections with God, others, and our very selves and, at the same time, allow us to visibly and proudly celebrate this keenly human activity and, by the way, are scientifically proven to make us feel better. “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices.”

Tears follow us into the Gospel of the day, into a scene where Jesus uses a familiar image to make his poignant point and lesson for all of us: “When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.” From these two references, we can safely assume that tears are normal, reflective of faith, and express an enormous amount of comforting reality especially when it comes to our life in the Spirit with Jesus. Tears also announce to us of our entire and eternal need for God especially when the world is harsh and cold and dark. We can and should agree with Psalm today: “All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness, For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth.”

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” Washington Irving

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