It is 20th March 2019. The readings are from Jeremiah 18:18-20; and the Gospel from Matthew 20:17-28. It is extremely hard to digest and to be painful to be punished by the very ones to whom we have rendered our service and generosity. It happens in all our lives that someone we helped always turn against us and calling us names to get rid of us. Those so-called intimate friends, relatives and companions for whom we pleaded with God, took up enormous amount of sacrifices and went through voluntary inconvenience for their healing turned against us and began abusing us and even to annihilate us is indeed the reward we get for being good, helping and generous person standing on behalf of God. To be authentic and unwavering follower and a disciple representing God and Jesus is to go through pain and suffering without complain and complements. At times we are silenced and sentenced by the people for whom we have sacrificed enormously. How do we respond when unjust criticism hit the shores of our hearts and life? In the first reading, the prophet Jeremiah turned to God and presented his case when the accusers have swelled up against him. A true servant of God acquires easily more enemies than friends always. God alone can deal with those who wish to get rid of us. The responsorial Psalm prays, “Save me in your love, O Lord.” (Ps. 30:17). The Gospel teaches us that greatness comes only through our personal suffering for the other and the unrewarding service. Jesus talks about saving God’s people by his suffering, death and crucifixion, while the disciples are engaged in discussing about the positions that they wished in His Kingdom. Even among the disciples of Jesus, there were a few who looked for position, power and to have control over others. No one comes closer to Jesus without serving the needy and the poor. Our fame, money power, positions do not offer and satisfy our inner beings. Service is the only proof of our faith in Jesus. The mother of James and John pleading for a favourable position over others among the disciples of Jesus. Some of us either ask secretly or send a delegation to grab positions and power wherever we work and serve. Filthily and falsely acquired titles, positions, and powers do not make someone great. It is the voluntary suffering and service to the humanity at large makes one recognised and blessed by God and loved by Jesus. The reward and eternal Life offered by Jesus to the ones who positions themselves as low-profiled, less popular, and rendering service without any expectations, recognition and remuneration. The cup of suffering and carriage of crucifixion are the dogma of a new leadership of Jesus. A faithful servant leader is the one who takes initiatives not just being a verbal motivator. “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave.” (Mt. 20:26,27). May we not give up when others do not appreciate the good work we do. Let us continue to show goodness even if we are to be crucified for the love of Jesus. May you have a good day and God bless you.

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