April 28, 2013: Why Are You Weeping?

Posted on : Apr 25th, 2013 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Why are you weeping? That is a common question I’ve been asking many patients as I’ve interned as a chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center this year. Many people face loss and grief in their life and it is expressed in many ways. Tears can be one of those expressions of loss and grief. Asking someone what the tears are about can open up a conversation for someone to talk about their tears and why they are weeping.

Mary Magdalene was standing outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she looked in the tomb and saw two angels sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying. These angels said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

These angels that showed up to Mary showed love and compassion towards Mary. They didn’t ignore Mary’s tears, try to avoid the tears because they were uncomfortable with them, but they simply asked, “Woman why are you weeping?”

Sometimes tears can make us nervous. We don’t know what’s going on with someone when they weep, and that might make us afraid. Perhaps we try to avoid the person in their moment of weeping. Maybe we try to change the person’s mood and bring joy to them because we are uncomfortable with the tears. Often I find a helpful approach is to just be there with the person while they weep. Allow the person to fully express themselves, all of their emotions, and give them opportunity to talk about their tears and weeping.

One of the most powerful interventions I’m finding as a hospital chaplain is the intervention of “presence.” The angels and Jesus knew the power of presence for Mary. Mary needed someone to be with her. Being physically present with Mary in her time of grief was what Mary needed.

I believe there are people all around us who are weeping. Many are weeping who may never actually show tears to us. They are weeping on the inside. How can we the Church become more present with those weeping?

~ Jerod Yates, Seminary Intern

~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

John 20:11-18

Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb;

And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.

And they said to her, “Woman why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?

Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabbi (which means Teacher).

Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to God, but go to My brothers and say to them, “I ascend to My God and Your God.”

Mary Magdalene came announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

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