Jeremiah 18:18-20 / Matthew 20:17-28
When it comes to being involved in the ministries in Church, some people may see it as just volunteering to do some work in Church or to do some work for God.
Volunteering is generally considered as an activity to provide services for no financial or social gain to benefit another person, group or organization.
But for Jeremiah of the 1st reading, he didn't volunteer to be a prophet. He was called by God to be a prophet. If he had volunteered to be a prophet, he would have given up in the face of persecutions against him.
But that doesn't mean that he had no complains. In fact, he lamented about it: "Listen to me Lord, hear what my adversaries are saying. Should evil be returned for good? For they are digging a pit for me. Remember how I stood in your presence to plead on their behalf, to turn your wrath away from them."
Jeremiah had every reason to complain and lament, because for doing what God wanted of him, he had to face persecutions from his own people and he was left alone to fend for himself.
In the gospel, Jesus knew He too would face those kind of persecutions and abandonment. He even told the Twelve what was going to happen to Him.
But the mother of Zebedee's sons as well as the rest of the Twelve don't seem to get it. In their minds, it seems that they were following Jesus in order to get some benefits or to see what they can gain from it.
The season of Lent helps to purify and enlighten our minds and hearts as to who Jesus is. Jesus came to serve and not to be served, and even to give His life as a ransom for many. May we understand that whether we are serving in the Church ministries or not.