Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter
(Acts 18:1-8; John 16:16-20)
Weeping is caused by secretion of fluid from the lachrymal glands. The action lubricates the surface of the eyeball. But exactly how this helps the one who cries is an open question. Some experts say that weeping is merely a response to strong emotions. Others claim that it serves a physiological purpose by removing hormones associated with stress.
Self-examination associates crying with loss of affection. For this reason, parents sob at the weddings of their children, and survivors weep at funerals of their loves ones. In this vain Jesus in the gospel today anticipates the tears of his disciples on the night before his death. “(Y)ou will weep and mourn…but your grief will come to joy,” he tells them knowing that the resurrection will follow his crucifixion on the next day.
In a different gospel and context Jesus assures us, “Blessed are they who mourn for they will be comforted.” He has the same reward in mind that he promises in today’s passage. When our tears express a love for Jesus that plays out in service to one another, we can be assured that they will end in our glory.