Dear Magdala Family, friends and virtual pilgrims,
May our greetings for a happy and holy Easter reach your homes and hearts!
We had not communicated in recent months due to our Virtual Lenten Pilgrimage, Journey Through the Holy Land, Inspired by Abraham, our Father in Faith. During Lent, Holy Week and Easter week we have been walking together and exploring many wonderful paths of faith. It has been a beautiful journey together, and we have created a delightful spiritual community spanning 109 countries – this is an immense multitude of people, families and communities.
I want to express our gratitude for all the support and good will shown by so many of you throughout this unique evangelization initiative. I know this includes many who have been praying for us daily, others who have joined us with their families on this virtual pilgrimage, as well as those who have promoted and shared our daily links and messages. All of this has allowed the Word made into flesh to reach many more people than we could have on our own.
Now we place the pilgrims, pilgrimage programming and every detail of these past 50 days in God’s heart, asking him to make these seeds that have been scattered bear fruit. I pray that our lives be continually transfigured by the light of the Holy Spirit, by God’s love, by his forgiveness and his mercy.
As the pilgrimage came to an end – precisely on the day of Passover – we were able to reopen Magdala to local tourism. It has been very motivating to see the guest rooms lit up once more, people walking through the site, and the Taricheae restaurant full of smiling and happy guests enjoying a few days by the Sea of Galilee. As for the archaeological park and Duc In Altum, we have had a constant flow of small groups of visitors, often people who are training to be tour guides and keep knowledge of the holy sites up to date. These visits have followed the rigorous hygiene and health controls, in which Israel has been exemplary. For this reason, Israeli authorities recently announced the reopening of the Tel Aviv airport to international tourism, as early as May 23rd. These news fill us with the hope that soon, the ‘total drought’ for pilgrims that has lasted nearly 15 months, is coming to an end.
As we begin the month of May, we will also initiate an activity that we have been planning for a long time: ‘Magdala Sunset’. This project is one of the first to be offered by Magdala Inspiration as part of the daily life here at Magdala. Magdala Sunset is a half-hour of prayer, reflection, silence, songs and testimonies at dusk by the Sea of Galilee. It was originally intended to be an in-person event for groups on site, and we will begin now virtually, incorporating pilgrims on site when they begin to arrive.
This activity will be offered daily, beginning May 3rd, six days a week (Sundays excluded) at sunset from Magdala. We invite you to join us when you can, and ask you to pray for this activity, so that through it, God may enlighten us all with His Word. May it be a holy, spiritual and religious ‘drip irrigation’ for the heart and soul.
We pray that the month of May, the month of Mary in the northern hemisphere, bring us closer to her love and the love of all mothers.
From Magdala, together with my cordial Easter greeting, prayers and fraternal blessing,
Fr. Juan Solana and the Magdala Team