For in Christ Jesus, neither (vaccinated nor unvaccinated) counts for anything, but only faith working through love. (Gal. 5:6)
Ok, so maybe I took liberty with St. Paul's wording here. Obviously he wasn't talking about vaccinations; St. Paul was speaking of circumcisions. Still, the important part is the same - "only faith working through love" counts.
This blog is not a delineation of the merits of being vaccinated, nor an explanation of reasons not to get the shot. My writing to you is a reflection on what is truly important for us to hold onto during this critical time - faith and love.
Faith is the belief in the unseen. Supernatural faith is the knowledge that God exists, even though we cannot see him. Yet, we see reflections of him in the world and people around us.
The gift of faith, given freely to us by God at Baptism, enables us to know God and accept his teachings. Yet, as St. Paul points out, faith must be animated by love.
Whereas faith is a noun, for us Christians, love is to be a verb. Love is what we do. Our every action ought to be motivated by love. By acting out of love, we imitate God himself. Everything we do must be love-motivated so that we may both live our faith and increase in it.
Love is also a theological virtue given to us at Baptism. Without this gift from God, the love within us would be inordinate. Self-love would dominate any love we have for others, and love of our enemies would be down-right impossible. Only God can teach us how to truly love.
God gave us another gift called free will. It is such a necessary and precious gift that God never takes it back, even when we misuse or totally abuse it. God respects our free will. We, likewise, must respect the free will of others.
So, let's get back to loving one another. Don't put demands on people to love the way you love. Just love; after all, love "endures all things" (1 Cor. 13:7b).
Love unites us. The Love between the Trinity makes the Three One. Despite any differences, love can make us one, also. There is power in love.
There is also power in division. Division, however, is not from God but Satan. Let us not be divided.
Have faith in God. Then show your faith by loving others.
Time will come when we will learn to live with the SARS CoV-2 virus (for I do not believe it is going away). Whether we do so masked or unmasked, vaccinated or unvaccinated, what God will be most concerned with is how we treated one another throughout this time. Did we despair or did we have faith in him? Did we bicker or did we love? Faith working through love is what counts.