It's often the case that the more we do for others, the more sacrifices we make, the more time we give up, the less we are appreciated. We begin to be taken for granted; or can even be mocked and turned against in our own times of need. St Matthew's Gospel, specifically the Beatitudes, is abundantly clear, that those who are merciful to others yet persecuted will be blessed.
The reality is that contrary to this, many people simply 'look after their own interests' (Phil 2:21) rather than following the self-sacrifical life in Christ. Although admittedly difficult, this is our ministry; to serve others 'without grumbling' (Phil 2:14), without seeking 'glory from one another' (John 5:44) but rather doing every deed in order to glorify God's Honourable and Majestic Name, with humility and self-denial.
Contrary to our misconceptions, God is not solely concerned with whether or not we stick by the fast vigorously, talk or act in a pious manner, have fallen into sins of a sexual nature, or have read all kinds of spiritual books.
The Lord fundamentally commands us to Love (which is of course the purpose of the Church's liturgical, canonical & sacramental life). Specifically, to Love Him and our neighbour. We often forget how closely related these two are though. Again in Saint Matthew's Gospel, we witness Christ stating that by doing something to our fellow human being, we are in fact doing it to our very God and Creator:
'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' (Matt 25:40)
Therefore, let us, especially throughout this Lenten Journey, place the care and importance of our fellow human beings at the forefront of our daily Christian lives - offering ourselves (our prayers, efforts, time, care and patience) to the other; and consequently to Christ our God.