Divine love is our vaccination against violence and death

Sunday April 04 2021
life05pix

He is risen from the dead, Hallelluiah!. PHOTOS | NET

By Msgr John Wynand Katende

With the discovery and availability of vaccination against Covid-19, the world has cause to celebrate this year’s Easter with a bigger Halleluiah, than last year, when the pandemic was at its height.

Experts believe that getting a Covid-19 vaccine may protect us from getting seriously ill even if we do get Covid-19.

Likewise, the vaccine has the ability to keep people from spreading the virus that causes Covid-19. Thanks be to God and His scientists.

For Ugandans, vaccination against Covid-19 bears, yet, a bigger story, following mixed feelings and uncertainties caused by the recently concluded political electioneering process.

One must, however, look at it from a bigger picture of a history of violence that has plagued Uganda’s post-independence political scene. It is as if we  have been infected with a virus called violence. Violence is caused by hatred and greed. Violence begets death.

What Ugandans need
Love contrasts with hatred. It is the vaccine against hatred, which all Ugandans are badly in need of. Jesus says in John 8:44 that Satan is the agent of violence and death– “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him.”

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“God is love” (1 John 4:8). He created the world out of love, and could not simply look on as the world gets torn apart to pieces due to hatred. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). By his sacrificial death on the Cross, Jesus injected the vaccine of love against violence, greed and death.
 
“The love of God is greater far than the tongue or the pen can ever tell. It goes beyond the highest star. And reaches to the lowest hell,” says one hymnist. St Paul triumphantly contemplates: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” He means that the work of Jesus, the second Adam, has repaired the ruins of the first, and that man is redeemed and his body will be raised.

Jesus is the example
Throughout his earthly life, mission and ministry, Jesus demonstrated how to administer the love vaccine in a society plagued with hatred. He loved the political and religious leaders, although they treated him as an enemy.

 Jesus had divine power to defend himself, but he chose to flee from King Herod (Matthew 2:13). He loved Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. He unconditionally loved Simon Peter, even after denying him three times (John 21:15).

While dying from the cross, Jesus prayed for forgiveness of his enemies and for all sinners. “But God commends his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

(Romans 5:8). In Solomon’s Song of Songs 6:8, we learn that love is stronger than death! Indeed when Jesus was crucified by those who hated Him, He rose from the dead, because he responded with love.  Every time we celebrate his Easter, Jesus invites us to emulate him.

“Love one another, just as I have loved you,” he says in John 13:35-35. As the expression goes: “Fish rotes from the head, down.”

It means that if the person in charge of something is bad at his or her job, no one working under that person will be able to do a good job either.

Since the vaccination exercise against Covid-19 begun with medics, leaders and civil servants, the love vaccination exercise against hatred, violence and greed, should follow the same protocol.
Blessed Easter.

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