Bishop Dlungwane: our conscientious participation in prayer and fasting helps us receive life and love

The reader of these two texts (Deut. 26:16-19 and Matt. 5:43-48), is immediately struck by the familiarity of the language used, and the seriousness of the relationship between the Lord Yahweh and the people of Israel. It is not about familiar earthly rules. God Himself is the author of this particular relationship. It is not just about earthly rules to be obeyed and followed. Rather it comes as a command, directly from the Lord Yahweh Himself. The second partner are the people of Israel. Their loyalty and full participation should never be doubted. It is something that must be done conscientiously: “…with all your heart and with your soul” (Deut. 26:16).

In all circumstances, the Lord Yahweh is a jealous God. He wants complete loyalty from the people of Israel. On His side, Yahweh is also a God of justice. Whenever Israel will keep all the laws faithfully, o His part Yahweh will improve that relationship by raising the status of Israel higher than that of any other nation that He has created.

According to this passage from Matthew’s Gospel, our conscientious participation in prayer and fasting during the time of Lent, will enable us to receive the new law (of life and love)



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