Dear Magdala Family,
I send you warm greetings and trust the following words to express my best wishes for you to have a Holy and Merry Christmas.
To the extent that circumstances allow us, due to the situation of the war that we are experiencing, we await with joy, more than ever, the coming of Jesus Christ as Prince of Peace.
As we have done in previous years, I would like us to reflect once more on the theme of the nativity scene. We need to recover the atmosphere that reminds us of the coming of the Eternal Son of God, made man for our love, in the womb of the Immaculate Virgin in Bethlehem, from the lineage of David, the foster son of Joseph.
A million Christmas trees and lights, and many millions of Santa Clauses, will never be close to what Baby Jesus in the arms of His mother, in the grotto of Bethlehem, stands for. Each event has its value and place. As Christians, we must focus on the Child who “has been born” – our Merry Christmas. He is our unbreakable hope; we can find profound joy in His humility. I pray that you can set up the Nativity scene in your homes. I invite you to look into the eyes of baby Jesus and find peace in Him… And if Santa happens to show up, may he also bring us many gifts!
On another note, our 2024 virtual pilgrimage for Lent, “Pilgrimage of Prayer,” is approaching. This time around, we will complete the catechesis cycle on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, focusing on the theme of Christian Prayer. I invite you to start preparing early and with love for this encounter with prayer, which connects us directly with God. Lent will begin on 14 February 2024. As we release our teaser in the coming weeks and further news, we hope that you support us by becoming apostles of this virtual activity so that the power of prayer can reach many more hearts and homes worldwide.
As the year full of surprises, adventures, ups and downs ends, we cannot help but say a big “Thank you” to you, your families, and your friends. The Magdala Family is growing little by little, thanks to the spiritual and religious commitment of each one of us. With the generous participation of many of you, our ministry is possible. We appreciate and value all the generosity we have received from our friends and relatives, volunteers, benefactors, authorities, employees, and collaborators. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. May God bless and reward your love.
Soon, we will begin a new year, 2024. Every day, every hour of the year that opens before us, is a gift from God. Let us value it very much, because the time of our life will one day come to an end. This year in the Holy Land, we open with several important questions. As we mentioned in September, our hearts harbor several exciting projects. Which of them will we be able to carry forward? Given the circumstances, what will we have to leave behind? Let’s not lose hope.
On the contrary, let our challenges drive us to give our best. This 2024 will be a new gift from God and we must make the most of it, without complaints or lamentations, without withdrawal or faintheartedness. Let’s live each day for what it is: a God-given gift.
One of the critical projects we open this new year with is the Magdala Family. We believe we need to give it more formality, structure, and goals. In the coming weeks, we plan to communicate with you our upcoming plans.
Another challenge, given the circumstances, is our 2024 “Encounter” Youthfest… Should we consider a backup plan? Yet, we don’t want to interrupt this spiritual journey that leads us to the Jubilee Year 2033, the two-thousandth anniversary of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. If circumstances force us, we will think of an alternative.
Beloved Family, I have extended myself. Thank you for reading this far. Let us live very united in prayer during this Holy Christmas. May Jesus, Joseph, and Mary flood our homes with their holy presence.
Cordially, Fr. Juan María Solana, L.C. and the Magdala Family.