Living Christmas – 2015 Advent Closing Message by Father Kevin O’Brien

unnamedThank you for joining us for our Advent and Christmas online journey. We hope that these devotionals and prayers have blessed your preparation for and experience of the Christmas season.

In these days ahead, find time to look back and reflect on where you encountered God during praying and living through Advent and Christmas. Often, the graces of a retreat experience only reveal themselves after the retreat is over. In that reflective light, some surprising revelations may emerge. What did you learn? What convictions carry you forward? What image, word, or person from the Scriptures stays with you? What “unfinished business” is there for you to tend to?

The world in which Jesus was born was blessed and broken, as our own world is. Herod’s scheming echoes in the terrorist plotting of today. The Holy Family’s flight to Egypt recurs in the forced migration of families across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Closer to home, even the happiest of holiday times can be mixed with sadness that comes with missing loved ones and reckoning with divorce, separation, and physical diminishment.

Into such a beautiful but broken world, God chose to come, not saving us by remote control but being with us in the nitty, gritty complexity of our lives. And therein lies our hope. At its foundation, the Christmas message is that God is with us, and with God at our side, all will be well. If we truly invite God’s loving presence into our lives, then there will be little room for fear or despair.

A reminder of this divine nearness are the people God sends our way every day. One of the consolations of the Christian journey is that we do not walk alone. About 7,000 people from all over the world joined our Advent retreat. We thank the many writers who served as our guides with their thoughtful and evocative daily reflections.

We will return with more devotionals for Lent and Easter. We have been able to extend these devotionals because of your support. To support our online ministry, we welcome financial contributions of any size. See the link below.

As we plan for future devotionals, please email us at, if you have comments or suggestions.

With gratitude and hope,

Rev. Kevin O’Brien, S.J. ,  (new window)Vice President for Mission and Ministry

The Advent Devotional is produced by the Office of Mission and Ministry, in collaboration with the Catholic Chaplaincy, Orthodox Christian Chaplaincy, and Protestant Chaplaincy. It is made possible through the generous support of many friends and the Georgetown Alumni Association.

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