Fr. Michael Delcambre
Diocese of Lafayette

My friends, I am here to tell you Jesus is not dead, but alive. We have seen him with our own eyes. We have touched him with our own hands and tongue. We have consumed him into our bodies. Jesus has risen and we are witnesses to these things.

If ever I was in awe in my life, this was one of those moments. We awoke and traveled the way of Jesus with his cross to the Calvary, which is now enclosed in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We were almost alone and were able to touch and kiss the rock upon which held the cross of our Lord and which his precious blood fell upon.

We then descended to reverence the pillar where Jesus was scourged. We viewed the crack in the earth from the earthquake that took place when Jesus gave up his last breath.

We celebrated Eucharist in and around the tomb. The tomb is small, only big enough for a few people. The group remained outside while Deacon Ken Soignier, a priest from Milan and I celebrated the Eucharist in the tomb. The Word was proclaimed and homily given outside the tomb, and the consecration took place above the slab where He was laid.

Clearly the power of the Lord was upon us. Did I mention that it was the high Mass? There are Masses said every 30 minutes there from 5-8 a.m. However, there is one Mass that is the high Mass in which the Franciscan Monks chant all the Mass parts. Yes, we celebrated that Mass! Wow! We were all in tears as we declared victory over sin and death.

At one part in the Liturgy, I came out of the tomb with the consecrated Eucharist and elevated him to declare “Behold the Lamb of God, Behold Him who takes away the sins of the world, happy are those called to the supper of the Lamb.”

Words cannot express the joy and jubilation of these words. These words are a declaration that Jesus is not dead but alive. He has risen and is alive among us. “Alleluia” is our battle cry.

After an emotional celebration and experience of the Resurrection, we had breakfast and visited the pool of Bethesda where Jesus visited. We also visited the site where St. Steven was martyred. All in all, it was a good morning.

I feel alive in every way, truly a witness to light overcoming darkness.

His words to me at Calvary and in the tomb were: “I Love You.” Everything he did was out of love for me and you. He shows us the depth of his love in the cross, in the tomb. He gave everything up for us. We have much to be thankful for and our life is how we thank him.

Fr. Delcambre led a group from Louisiana to the Holy Land in 2013.

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