Epiphany: Offering gifts and new beginnings
The feast of Epiphany on January 6th is when children in Spain receive their presents brought not by Santa, but by ‘The Three Kings’.

As we know, Epiphany commemorates the first two occasions on which Jesus’ divinity was manifested: when the three kings (or Magi) visited the baby Jesus, but also the following Sunday when John the Baptist baptized him in the River Jordan. The Roman Catholic and Protestant churches emphasize the visit of the Magi when they celebrate Epiphany. The Eastern Orthodox churches place a greater emphasis on Jesus’ baptism.

In thinking about what gifts I would bring, I’m reminded of Wesley’s words,
Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire To work and speak and think for Thee;
Still let me guard the holy fire, And still stir up Thy gift in me.

But how do I ‘guard that holy fire’ and ‘stir up Thy gift’ in a busy life? Jesus’ baptism is a symbol of giving His will up to His Father, as well as marking a shift in His life into His ministry.

So what better way to start the year than in a Retreat to reflect on what we can bring as an offering, and what new beginnings need to made? We’ll think on a few of these things, as well as visiting some of the local attractions and festivities, perhaps including the Sanctuary of Santa María Magdalena, Novelda, pictured to the right.

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The santuario of María Magdalena a Novelda. Built by a student of Barcelona’s Gaudí.