As a reader, I'm always irked when I can see a writer "trying" to make me feel something. When they're working too hard to build up a scene, and when it's obvious their goal is to make the reader cry or be moved. I usually end up having the opposite reaction. And then I quit reading.
As writers, of course, we do want our readers to feel something, to make a connection with the plot, the characters. But if we force it, the reader will feel manipulated. They're smart. They can sense when we're working too hard. So, I think the best thing we can do as writers is to stay honest. To write a scene because it serves the plot, challenges or reveals the characters--not because we think it will guarantee tears from our readers.
If we're authentic, if we tell the story naturally, let it unfold as it should, the reader will connect to it and yes, if moved, the reader may shed a couple of tears. ;-)
I know this sounds odd, but my test is....myself. (This works best if I've gained some distance from my work -- if I've set it aside for a few weeks or even months, so that I "forget" what I've written and can see it through fresh eyes). If I read over a particularly emotional scene I wrote and I start to get tears or empathize with the characters, I know I've done something right. But if I find myself neutral or even shrugging my shoulders at a scene that was meant to move, then it needs tweaking. I need to roll up my sleeves, dig in, and let the scene unfold in a more natural way.
I found a blog post today at Kidlit that discusses this very thing (along the lines of forcing big, emotional scenes on your readers too quickly, before they even have the chance to connect with the characters). Excellent advice: link here