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He has risen!

In a few short words, the evangelist Luke captures a wide range of emotional responses to the resurrection of Jesus. 

First, there is the sense of urgency of the women who rush to the tomb just as the dawn comes.

But this quickly changes—the women are stunned when the body of Jesus is not there. This is contrary to all their expectations. When the angels appear, there is a new emotion—terror.

But they cannot help but tell this news, even to those who do not believe them. 

Peter’s response was to see what has happened for himself and then, to his amazement, he sought the security of his own home. He does not return to the other disciples.

This broad range of reactions is reflected in us today. 

The sense of urgency, then shock, terror, the urge to share the news, the disbelief, the curiosity, the amazement, and the insecurity: the resurrection today produces all these reactions.

Perhaps today we could add joy and interest, and even boredom to reactions to the resurrection.

It is important to remember that we are not just walking, calculating machines. 

As human beings we are incredibly complex, not only in our rational processes, but also in a whole range of intuitive and emotional ways.

The joy of love can hardly be described in the cold, hard language of biochemistry. Our aesthetic response to beauty in nature and in art has its own logic. 

Betrayal by an old friend causes a pain which cannot be measured in ohms or pixels.

But the evangelists are holistic writers. The gospels, which they have written for us, are not text books for analysis. The gospels traverse the many aspects of our complex humanity, including our emotions.

If we were to conduct on responses to the resurrection, we ask people how they feel. Try and imagine the variety of responses which you would get. No doubt there would be those whose lives have been touched by faith and who respond in joy and happiness.

But others might be simply puzzled, or argumentative. Yet others might be curious, or disbelieving.

Perhaps today would also be a good day to explore your own reactions to the news of the resurrection. Probably they have changed at different phases in your life, even different phases of a single day.

Like the women and men in the gospel passage, like Peter, we dance from one emotion to another. 

And these reactions, these changing reactions, are a part of our human faith. They are normal, because we are complex human beings.

In all the scriptures, but especially in the gospels, we are taught the meaning of the mystery of the Passover. But this teaching is not only for our heads, but the whole person: because we are complex human beings.

Let us rejoice at the presence of the Risen Lord who shared our humanity!