Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of CanadaFranciscains du Canada

Ordo Fratrum Minorum

Epiphany: New Year and New Roads

Epiphany: New Year and New Roads


The gospel for Epiphany (Matthew 2.1-12) ends with,

“They (Wise Men) left for their own country by another road.”

This line has echoed in my thoughts as 2020 begins. A new year has dawned and for many of us what was yesterday is the same today and will be the same tomorrow. However, if we take our cues from the Wise Men then we know that even in our “own country” or homeland we must take another road. Taking another road need not be major changes to life. I suggest it is simply the invitation to review where we have come from and what we must do in the journey ahead. Many of us will not go to a different a country or even face significant changes in this new year, but how will let the light shine which has been entrusted to us? How will we will live in the light that dawned in our lives? What little paths must we take in this year?

I have always been fascinated by the Wise Men and their trust in following a star. Trusting that they would be guided through valleys low and mountains high to their destination. Their destination being the Light of the World – God-Hero; Wonderful Counselor; the Prince of Peace. This small child who would illumine their lives and cause them to present their humble gifts but also awaken them to trust the message of their dream to return home by another road. This small child who they would only encounter as a helpless infant in a manger bed clearly awakened them to more.

As I gaze up at the vast night sky and as I am reassured by the twinkling of Christmas lights on the winter horizon, I have to ask myself:
How do I trust that the Light of the World is illumining my paths in this new year?
How do I present my gifts? Do I present them or do I hoard them?
How do I listen to the dreams God presents to me? Are they hints and visions for renewed living in my “own country”? Are they “another road” for the journey of 2020?

These are the questions which are swirling around and through me as 2020 begins. I am happy to have faithful companions like the Wise Men to remind me of the journey. With insights from their journey I too, in each month of this journey we call 2020, will present my gifts to the Christ Child and pay him homage with my life. With insights from the journey which has been my own, with the hopes and dreams which I carry and with promises of a new year unfolding, I too will arise and shine for my light has come (Isaiah 60.1) and give praise to God for what has been and what will be.

God of wonders – 
God of new beginnings – 
God of the stars and the sun,

As this new year unfolds
awaken me to new paths
to walk in the familiar grounds
of “my own country”.

As the Wise Men of old
followed a star
with trust and focus
and fell down in 
wonder and awe before
your son – the Christ Child
may I too trust in your ways,
and be filled with wonder and awe
in all that will unfold in the year ahead.

God of vision –
God of newness – 
God of life,

2020 vision is about clarity and sharpness
may I seek the clarity which you give,
may I strive for the sharpness of sight
which reveals you in my everyday living
in each moment of this year.

As the Wise Men of old
presented their gifts to Your Son,
I too desire to do the same
with my gifts and abilities
as I encounter you in
my brothers and sisters
and all of creation.

God of light – 
God of love – 
God of all,

Your love is the light for my path,
your love is the light which illumines my darkness,
drawing me closer to you and 
guiding me in ways which are everlasting.

As the Wise Men of old
were overwhelmed with joy
may I too be aware of the joys in life
as I lift up my eyes to see your glory
and give praise for the birth of your Son
in my life each day.


Happy Epiphany!
“Go before us with heavenly light, O Lord, always and everywhere.”        Epiphany Prayer After Communion

Happy New Year!

Let us walk in the light in 2020

and bring light to others all the days of 2020!