Dear Magdala Family,
I wish to send you an affectionate greeting and our best wishes for a Blessed Christmas. I ask that Jesus Christ, Our Lord, be born again in our hearts and fills them with his peace and love.
I also want to explain the reason for my silence in the past few weeks.
As announced, I left Israel on November 9th for a meeting with friends and benefactors of Magdala which was held in Tennessee, USA. It was a very intense few days of contemplating the gift of God that is Magdala: its past, present, and to foresee the future of the project with its programs and needs. I am very grateful to every one present at that meeting for their active and generous participation, and I am certain that from here we will continue to gain more momentum forward to see Magdala flourish in the years to come.
Following this encounter, I visited some friends in various cities across the United States and traveled to Mexico to visit my family and have a few days of vacations. I must admit that the recent virtual pilgrimage of healing left me truly exhausted and with many pending emails, calls and messages to reply. I apologize for my delay in answering.
While resting in Mexico, Israel announced its state of alert for the Omicron variant of COVID19. This implied a new delay in my return and through which my Israeli visa expired. Unfortunately, this has now caused an indefinite delay in my return to Israel.
God has everything in His Providence. As I write to you, I am in New York and I will probably spend Christmas with one of our religious communities in the USA as I wait to get my Israeli visa renewed.
I want to express my gratitude to the Magdala team for all the work done in these past weeks. The daily transmission of the Holy Eucharist, the Sunsets, and the Road to Bethlehem by the hand of Saint Joseph/ “Star of Wonder” programming. To the Magdala team: Fathers, consecrated women, volunteers, and collaborators I extend my utmost gratitude and wish you a Blessed Christmas in Bethlehem. This year for the second time in 18 years I will not be able to join you in our Lord´s town on Christmas Day. I ask you for a prayer there so that Jesus will be born in all hearts thirsty for his love.
Despite changes and inconveniences, I believe in the Providence of God. He has some plan for every one of us. That is why we confidently abandon ourselves to His love. He will always guide us for the best. He only allows what is good for us, even if we do not see it at first glance.
I share these news with you as the unforeseen problems with my visa and the new difficulties for traveling put at risk the production of the next virtual pilgrimage that we had previously announced, “Touring the Holy Land by the hand of Moses”, and for which we had planned to travel to Egypt and Jordan in the coming few weeks. Perhaps for this reason we will have to rethink the theme of our next virtual pilgrimage for Lent 2022. I ask that you pray to the Holy Spirit to help us discern what will be best in these circumstances.
The Christmas break gives us the serenity to contemplate the mystery of Bethlehem and the mystery of God in our lives. I renew my fraternal greetings and the best wishes to you from the whole Magdala family so that this Christmas, with the renewed presence of Christ in our lives, we may find ourselves closer to His Kingdom.
Finally, I am most grateful to all of you who have sent us your generous donations in the past weeks on the occasion of Christmas. Your generosity allows us to continue our mission, apostolate, and to consolidate the future of Magdala according to the plans of Providence. Among all the needs in the world, there is also the need to feed the soul and spirit. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and sensitivity.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2022!
Fr Juan María Solana, L.C., Magdala Team & Family