The Time after Epiphany
The central theme of Advent and Christmastide, the manifestation, or epiphany, of Jesus Christ, also dominates the Weeks after Epiphany. That manifestation began selectively, first to Mary (Ember Wednesday, Annunciation), then to Elizabeth and John the Baptist (Ember Friday, Visitation), and then to Joseph (Vigil of Christmas). Next it grew stronger with the adoration of the Shepherds (Christmas), the Magi at the Manger (Epiphany), Simeon, Anna, and the Doctors in the Temple (Sunday after Christmas, Candlemas, and Holy Family, resp.), and even to John the Baptist's disciples (Octave of Epiphany).
But the epiphanies of Jesus Christ did not end with these events. On the contrary, everything that our Lord did and said during His public ministry was designed to manifest His divine nature.
It is the Time after Epiphany that corresponds to this period of our Lord's life. The Epistle selections, mostly from Paul's letter to the Romans, stress the calling of both Jew and Gentile to the new revelations, while the Gospel selections narrate the words and deeds of our Lord during His adult ministry in Galilee, the northern region of Israel that was the scene of most of His public life. All of these readings give witness to the astonishing fact that this itinerant preacher was the coeternal Word of God, the Word who spoke as only God can speak and who worked miracles that only the God of heaven and earth can work. Thus, even though these weeks, with their green vestments and moderate mode of celebration, are part of the calendar's tempus ad annum (what is called "Ordinary Time" in the new rite), they are more properly seen as continuing the Christmas cycle's focus on "theophany" -- the manifestation of God in Christ. By helping us to heed the words of Christ and understand the significance of His miracles, the Time after Epiphany deepens our meditation on the mystery of the Incarnation.