Dear Friends of Magdala,
As we approach October and close in on the opening of our guesthouse, I’ve been reflecting on this amazing gift God has given us.
I stop, and in awe I am amazed to realize that God has been crafting Magdala for thousands of years. Early historians date the town’s foundation to anywhere between 120 BC – 64 BC and as we know its destruction to 67 AD. From then, the city was lost and rediscovered until 2009; and only now, 10 years later, we will receive the first overnight pilgrims back to Magdala. After almost 2000 years the town will once more be buzzing with crowds arriving to rest on their journey across the Holy Land, just as merchants did when Magdala featured prominently as a major player in the fishing industry of the Galilee.
I am transported back to ancient times, and see traders, travelers, pilgrims arriving to purchase Magdala’s famous salted fish, maybe even from one the first disciples who fished along the Galilee’s shore. I think of them, staring at the beauty of their surroundings, the same beautiful lake, nature, sunrise and sunsets that you and I will enjoy from the site. I think of them spending the night nearby or perhaps in this very same city, and continuing their journey the following day, just as you and I will be able to do now… I get goosebumps from the excitement, and in a way, as a little boy waiting to receive a gift from their father, get somewhat impatient to already receive it and share it with others.
Our whole team, as I am sure you, like me, are itching to see our new guesthouse up and running! As the days inch closer by, the buzz of work, excitement, last details, grow and grow. It’s palpable and visible in the eyes of our colleagues and volunteers as they explain to our daily visitors the story of the project, the Providence of God, and His work among you and I to bring this project to life and to this moment. As we approach our opening date, I continue to ask you for your prayers and support. Magdala is His gift to us and the world, and His work here has just begun.
Fraternally yours and united in prayer,
Fr. Juan María Solana, LC