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  • Sarah Raad

Vaccine

Just as a vaccine prepares our body to confront a disease, a sacrifice prepares our soul to confront our death.

The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Gathering and Protecting Mankind (Frans Floris I)

It is difficult to think of the way that we are living our lives right now and to compare that to the way that we were living our lives around twelve months ago. It is difficult – but not impossible – to remember what things were like…


I remember the lockdowns and the restrictions that were implemented to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the entire culture of quiet that came with those rules that were designed to protect the most vulnerable within our community.


About a year ago, the COVID-19 vaccine was introduced in Australia, and people were being very strongly pressured by the Australian government to receive the vaccine so that various freedoms would be reinstated. I remember at that time, the various debates that raged as some people avidly supported the vaccine mandates and others were strenuously protesting them. That time of division and judgement seems far behind us now, and yet, I was reflecting on these vaccines the other day, as I was reflecting on the purpose of sacrifice…


You see a vaccination is designed to allow an individual to build up some immune response to a disease when that disease is introduced into the individual’s body in a weakened form. The scientific idea behind modern vaccination is that if an individual is exposed to this weakened form of the disease, their body will generate an immune response. And when this occurs, it means that when that individual is exposed to the disease in all its power, that individual will either be subject to a less severe form of the disease or will not become sick at all…

And, when you really think about it, a sacrifice serves pretty much the same purpose as a vaccine!

You see, there are usually minor side effects associated with vaccination, and those side effects – though uncomfortable – are supposedly less uncomfortable and less dangerous than the symptoms of the disease itself, and further, they occur to prepare the individual for the disease. And this really is what sacrifice is all about!


When God wished to send Saint Faustina some suffering or trial in her life, He often sent His Blessed Mother to appear to the Saint and warn her of her impending suffering. When Saint Faustina heard – from the Blessed Virgin – that she would soon suffer, her response was invariable – she immediately began to prepare herself by introducing sacrifices into her life so that she would be mentally and spiritually prepared for the greater trials to come.


And this is like the process of vaccination – we start with something small and weak (offering up meat on Fridays, or getting out of bed at the first ring of the alarm) so that we can endure the stronger and more dangerous temptations when God sends us real suffering in our lives… This is so that we can sacrifice our greater sufferings for the true glory of God!


And this process of sacrifice is important because it prepares us for the ultimate trial and the ultimate suffering of death…


You see, just as a vaccine prepares our bodies to confront a disease, a sacrifice prepares our souls to confront our death. For in death, we finally surrender – with complete faith through the sacrifice of our Earthly lives – to the Infinite Glory of God…


And that is what sacrifice is really all about… Death. And Life… Eternal Life…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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