Dear Magdala Family,
Since we finished our virtual pilgrimage/retreat I bring to mind a great invitation for each and every one of you: We will prepare the best Christmas of our lives!
Yes, I’m not kidding.
I am afraid that some of the past Christmas´ we have experienced in the past had so many trees, so many spheres and so many little lights, that we have lost sight of the only important thing: Baby Jesus.
Dear brothers and sisters, this year we have a unique opportunity. Let us celebrate Christmas again as St. Francis of Assisi did 800 years ago, with austerity, poverty and in the “cold,” but with Jesus in our hearts.
If this year, COVID-19 forces us to live an isolated Christmas, without big celebrations, without banquets, without trips, without family meetings, let’s not get down or upset. On the contrary, let us take advantage of the opportunity, let us learn from the simplicity and poverty of the grotto of Bethlehem and let us embrace, perhaps as never before, Baby Jesus, the poverty and simplicity of the Holy Family, the joy of a bare and modest nature.
Jesus wants to be truly born in our hearts! I dare to make three proposals:
- Many of you have continued to the great old custom of setting up either a simple or elaborate nativity scene in your homes (in some places they call it a manger scene or Christmas scene), for some, it may need a little dusting off. Let’s make sure that this Christmas we think about making the Nativity scene again with all the joy that our mothers and grandmothers used to do, let’s involve the children and teenagers in the construction of the sky, little houses, portals, plants and figures. Let’s make the Nativity scene look like the best times again in our homes! This time COVID-19 gives us the conditions, time, place, home and family to do it.
- Let’s share our nativity sets/ manger scenes with the entire Magdala Family. The simple ones are equally as important as the more elaborate ones. We want to make a mural with all of your photos to put them in our own manger scene in Magdala. In this way, we will all be united as a family inside the manger, worshipping Baby Jesus together.
To participate you can do it in one of the following ways:
- Send your photos of your nativity/manger scenes to the following email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or you can upload the photos of your nativity/ manger scene to your Facebook or Instagram account and tag/mention our account @experiencemagdala on your post.
- Send us your photos from now until December 16th, 2020.
We would love to see photos from the whole Magdala Family. From the USA, Canada, England… to Singapore, Australia or Japan. In this way, our homes and all the love with which we have prepared our nativity/manger scenes, will have a physical presence in the Holy Land. Let us pray for all the lonely people at this time and find a way to reach out and involve them.
Let us prepare ourselves to truly celebrate Christmas, to let the coming of Jesus into the world fill us with joy. What we experienced recently in our pilgrimage/retreat let us make it resound in our hearts all Advent and all Christmas.
I will help you from Magdala…
We will continue with the daily live transmissions of the masses of Fr. Eamon Kelly, LC at 9:00 (EST) / 14:00 (London) / 16:00 (Holy Land) until December 5th, through our Facebook channel @experiencemagdala. We begin Spiritual Exercises with our community on December 5th – 18th and will need to revise our schedule accordingly. We will host a livestream English retreat on December 19th from 3-7 pm, including our daily mass at 4:00pm We will keep you updated. Please pray for us during this time.
As far as possible we will share something with you from Bethlehem.
No more sadness and nostalgia. The Child Jesus is coming to brighten our lives and fill our homes with joy! The Savior is coming!
Fr. Juan María Solana, L.C.