Dear Magdala Family,
Happy New Year!
This is our first newsletter of the year, and I would like it to be about hope, great joy and abandonment in the hands of God.
I have just arrived to Magdala, after two months of adventures. As I mentioned before, I made a trip to the USA and Mexico during which my Israeli visa expired and forced me to remain in the country longer than expected. Everything went well with the renewal, except that the rapid spread of the omicron variant forced me to spend Christmas almost in quarantine.
Yet, God is never wrong. We are the ones who do not always know how to read His plans. We are the ones who want immediate, fast results and -preferably- according to our preferences, but God has been a Loving Father and has gifted Magdala and all of us with a Christmas season full of blessings. Therefore, I am encouraged to convey a message of deep hope: with the problems COVID19 has brought to us, two years “of lean cattle” have passed… I trust that now there will be two years of “fat cattle” …, as the Bible teaches us in the Book of Exodus.
I hope that my wishes are not superficial. We can go back to our history to see that, after periods of profound trials and suffering, times of blessing and abundance have followed. I recently listened to an interview of a renowned Mexican doctor speaking about the omicron variant. As it concluded, I thought about the following, the hurricane that is COVID-19 is turning into a tropical storm, “omicron”. Medical advances, together with learning how to better take care and so many other efforts and sacrifices are beginning to result in a more positive outlook in the field of health. At least, less fatal than it has been so far.
Yes, dear family, let us look to the near future with deep hope! May our wishes for a Happy New Year be much more than a greeting of circumstance; let them be a statement loaded with hope in God. Hopefully we can return to our normalcy soon. What lesson have these years taught us? To me? To our family? To our organization? This period must leave us some lesson. We must leave renewed and better from this test that Providence has allowed us to live.
My desk is already full of projects, and it is only January. The most important of these is our next virtual pilgrimage, which will begin on March 2, Ash Wednesday. As I announced to you in December, and given the circumstances and travel restrictions, we have decided to postpone the pilgrimage on the Exodus and the Commandments…. Let’s see what the Holy Spirit inspires us with. We trust that it will be a new period of blessing and grace. Stay tuned as we will shortly communicate the theme of our Lenten pilgrimage and we´ll find out by the hand of whom we will travel through the Holy Land with this time.
“Sursum corda”, lift your hearts! That hope is the virtue of the strong! Let us ask the Lord that we may perceive his blessings and correspond to them, making the year that begins a period of achievements.
Blessings and greetings from the entire Magdala team. We ask for your prayers and support, as always.
Fr. Juan Maria Solana, L.C.