St. Silouan the Athonite Mission Parish


“Do not weep.” October 10, 2010
by Fr Roberto Ubertino


We hear these words addressed in the Gospel today to the widow who was mourning her only son and also we hear these words addressed to Mary of Magdala as she seeks among the dead her crucified Lord. Do not weep, and yet our whole tradition speaks about the necessity of tears. Symeon the New Theologian even says that we should approach the chalice only with tears. Clearly the Gospel is good news, joy, life, peace, communion with God and one another. This is what Christ brings. Is there then a contradiction between the lived experience of the Church that says tears are necessary, and the Gospel the good news to cease our weeping?

The gospel of today was about a poor woman, who had nothing and no one left in this world. She had entered the deepest sorrow any mother can have. Her hearth had been broken. If your heart has ever been broken then you will understand the depths from which her tears came. The Lord was drawn to her because of her deep Penthos, her deep grief and tears. And in her she fulfilled the words of the Gospel of Luke, makari, blessed are you who weep now for you shall laugh, and after asking her not to weep she gave back her son!

Life and the losses this woman had lived had brought her to the place of tears. The fathers teach us, that all of us must come to that same place where this woman encountered Christ and the Resurrection. Only to those who weep will the words of the Gospel be addressed – “Do Not Weep.” Only when we have learned to weep will we know the beatitude of laughter. Only when we see the Lord through our tears will the Resurrection be shown to us. “Many tears are needed to see things properly—the true nature of things,” as Gregory of Nyssa says. There are different ways to live this gift of tears. Tears; are a sign of God’s deep work in us. But what if you don’t have the physical gift of tears? There are different ways to live this path of repentance. One way not often mentioned is to do what Jesus did today, to go and be close to those who weep, to be there present to them. You’d be surprised how close to tears most people are if only they feel safe near another person. By learning to carry others’ tears, you will make up for the lack of tears in your life and the Lord his mercy will in his good time show you, like he showed the woman today. He will also show you the Resurrection.

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