A message from the Director for Advent 25 November 2022 May the Lord be blessed; He is the One who leads us to Freedom! We all dream of better days and hope that things might change. We long for a world that fulfills our dreams but we know that this cannot be satisfied unless the world becomes, as intended by God, a place of love. In the exercise of my present calling in Rome, where there is an urge to build up a greater spirit of fellowship and understanding across differences, I note that we are called to be attentive to God’s love. Without it, it would be impossible patiently to wait for God’s dream for humanity to be fully realized. The dream of God for our world is to set us free from isolation so that ‘in days to come the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.’ (Isaiah 2. 2) The Advent season comes, therefore, at an opportune time as it reminds us of our responsibility to walk in the path of love, as designed by God. At times the world seems to be far away from accepting God’s loving reign which brings unity, order and justice. And yet, if the world takes the path of love, it will live under God’s rule which will transform lives and generate peace: ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’ (Isaiah. 2. 4) God’s world should be a place of love: there can be no love without the freedom and no freedom without risk. The world will be judged by love as revealed by Christ when he came in to the world. At that moment in time, His power will be manifest when he will examine the way we have used our freedom. As we seek to build up bridges that can bring us together as God’s people, we have to learn how to make God’s dream our own by taking the risk of living out God’s love in the dark places of our world. Motivated by this love, God in Christ became human, and lived and died and rose for our salvation. We who will be judged and who will stand before the God of Love, will be the ones whom Christ will receive. Now, it is for us to be vigilant ‘for salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers.” (Romans 13. 11) So, we Christians of this generation have great responsibility as we are called not to conform to the pattern of this world. We are to abide in Christ and to be obedient to the will of God. This invites us to work courageously to make the world a place of love As we prepare ourselves to celebrate again the birth of Jesus, the Church is called to be attentive to the living presence of Christ around and within us as it awaits His glorious return.