On a high hill overlooking the Mediterranean some 30 miles south of Beirut lies the pilgrimage town of Maghdoucheh, famous for its 30-meter bronze shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was here in Maghdoucheh that the Virgin Mary is said to have waited in a cave for her son Jesus to return with his disciples after preaching in nearby in Sidon. The statue, which depicts Mary holding Jesus in her arms, weighs a hefty six tons and was built in 1963 above the cave in which Mary was believed to have waited.
Christmas is a special time of year, a time filled with festivities and cheer. The lights are up, magic fills the air as people rush to get gifts. Children wait in anticipation for Father Christmas and all the gifts they will be receiving. All the wrapped presents under the tree topped with a golden star for all to see. But those gifts don’t at all compare to the beauty of having the family around. As we start this solemn slalom towards a week that ends engorged, with stomachs bloated whilst we gloat and toast a perfect holiday, let us remember that December is about reunion, love, and sharing this small world we inhabit.