Dear Magdala Family,
On behalf of myself and the Magdala team, we wish you a happy New Year!
As the year begins and coincides with the “January Slope”– that challenging start to the new year and the unique challenges we take on – it seems essential to once again take up the motto of our “Duc In Altum!” Launch into the deep!
Launch into the deep in your dreams and desires; launch into the deep in your world, your society, your family; launch into the deep in the specific circumstances of our world. Launch into the deep! This is the directive that Jesus gave Peter in the face of a great, unexpected, and bewildering challenge. In other words, trust in me! Let’s do it together! As we hear this instruction that is so comforting, we must embrace and never forget from whom it comes: God. He is the guarantor of our new effort and commitment. With Him, we can consistently achieve our goals. Let’s launch ourselves once again into this new page of our life. “If God is for us, who can be against us? ” Says Saint Paul, who often put this Duc In Altum into practice and fully experienced it.
Pope Francis is preparing us for the Jubilee year 2025, calling us “Pilgrims of Hope.” Our pilgrimage through this life must be fueled by hope, a theological virtue that helps us to wait for what we do not yet see or possess, fight against winds and tides, and always trust the Lord. He is close; may we always let Him act in our lives.
In step with Pope Francis, let’s align this year with his suggestion to dedicate our preparation for the Jubilee Year through prayer, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
Our English media team, led by Kathleen Nichols, is preparing an exciting Virtual Pilgrimage for you to follow through Lent on our YouTube and Facebook Channels titled “Virtual Pilgrimage of Prayer in Jerusalem: If You Knew the Gift of God (John 4:10)” The program will explore how Christians in Jerusalem follow the footsteps of the Lord and his first disciples, praying in ways that have been passed down for thousands of years. Deepen your connection with God through this virtual Pilgrimage of Prayer, discovering the people, places, and ways Christians pray in Jerusalem.
We need to pray; it is one of the vital elements of Christian life. Therefore, we invite you to register as soon as possible for our pilgrimage to receive the daily materials, videos, and suggestions. You can subscribe to our pilgrimage here.Take advantage of this Lenten pilgrimage and please help us spread the word among friends and family. We hope you enjoy and follow it like a series that will prepare us better through Lent for the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter this year.
Sadly, we also share that on December 23rd, there were torrential rains causing floods in Magdala and the surrounding area. As always, even in these challenging circumstances, there were beautiful things, such as the enthusiasm of our guest Kibbutz children trying to help us in any possible way, like carrying gravel to block and contain the water where it tried to enter the building. A beautiful gesture of friendship, help, and solidarity. It made me think a lot about the phrase “love begets love.” We have supported them, and now they are supportive of us.
The present circumstances urge us to look at the near future with hope: everything is in God’s hands. Let us continue praying to God for peace. Peace in the world, peace in the Holy Land, our families, and our hearts.
Thank you for all your love and support. Let us remain very united in prayer. Here, we entrust all your intentions.
Cordially, Fr. Juan María Solana, L.C. and the Magdala Family.