It is much more than an intellectual acceptance. Jesus said, “Not everybody who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. Only those who do the will of God”. In other words follow the way of God. That’s how you believe in Jesus, you follow him and then you come to new life. A life that begins to enable you to be all that you can be.
Like the Jewish people who felt dead from their captivity, we too live in a world that has been caught up in death for a long time. We have our dry bones as well. We kill each other in acts of murder, abortion, euthanasia, execution, war, terrorist activities, and through drunk and reckless driving. We kill ourselves through suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, overwork, stress, bad eating habits, and physical neglect.
We watch calmly as others die from poverty, hunger and malnutrition, homelessness, unemployment, poor education, disease, lack of health coverage, child abuse, arms proliferation, discrimination, pollution, destruction of the environment, unsafe working conditions, and all the laws, policies, practices and attitudes which contribute to these conditions.
When we believe in Jesus, we discover Jesus in a whole variety of places. When I was hungry, you gave me food to eat. When I was thirsty you gave me water to drink. That’s how we enter into the fullness od life, finding Jesus in others, seeing Jesus in the poor, the oppressed, those who are treated badly in this world. We see Jesus in them and believe in Jesus, reach out to Jesus and follow him. We become alive.
We must heed his command: “Don’t just love those who love you. Love your enemies.”