God for 30 pieces of Silver

April 8, 2020 – Holy Wednesday

Click here for the readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/040820.cfm)

Homily

God only costs 30 pieces of silver!

Do you know what that means? It means that the Lord is cheap!

30 pieces of silver were the approximate amount to buy a slave. This amount was also equivalent to a person’s wage for five weeks based on 6 days of work at that time of Jesus.

Today, especially for Davao Region the highest minimum wage rate is P 390.00 and multiply it by 6 days and 5 weeks, then, you have P 11, 700.00. This is the equivalent amount of the price of Jesus in today’s context.

Thus, just for five weeks, working 6 days a week, 8 hours a day, we can buy God!

This is both fascinating and upsetting. It is fascinating knowing that God is cheap. An ordinary person can buy God just like what Judas did. Judas sold his friend and master to the chief priests for 30 pieces of silver.

In a way, this tells us of Jesus’ availability for us. He makes himself cheap, for a price of a slave so that we can have him, so that he can be with us. With that 30 pieces of silver, then, we have Jesus who offered his life for us.

However, what is upsetting is the thought that we do not value that much the presence of God in our life. The chief priests valued Jesus for that amount and Judas willingly accepted that and even desired to really have that amount in his hands. This is so disturbing because for all those days that Judas had been with Jesus and the goodness and generosity shown by Jesus to him, Judas seemed not to have realized the great worth of Jesus.

With this attitude, we may not be far. We too might have thought also that God is the least in our priorities and that God is not essential. We could have spent more time and more of our presence on other things rather than spending quality time with the Lord and with our family. We could have thought also that other people are worthless and good for nothing.

Nevertheless, what is more striking was the price that Jesus has to pay for us. Judas might have sold Jesus for 30 pieces of Silver, but Jesus has paid for his life in order to redeem us, that we might be with him.

Imagine, we are more expensive than God. We, mere creatures, are more costly than the Creator. This tells us how much we are being valued by God.

That’s why when somebody tells you that you are worthless, believe Jesus, that’s not true. Jesus has paid his life for you. When someone would say that a sinner or a criminal or an offender has no value in our community, believe Jesus, that is fake news. Jesus has to suffer, has to be crucified and to die to tell us that every sinner and every creature on earth is special and expensive. God has to pay it himself.

Hence, on this Holy Wednesday, there are three invitations I would like you to dwell deeper.

First, God is so cheap. As God is everywhere, recognize God always. It won’t take you long to recognize God in the presence of your loved ones, with your friends, with strangers, and with all the things that are around you.

Second, each person worth the life of Jesus. Never allow others also to put you down, to tag you as valueless and worthless. Stop thinking too of this idea, because each of us is so valuable to Jesus. And never believe also that there are people or even just one person that has no value.

Third, recognize also the value, the importance of the gift of presence of people around you. Recognize also the many gifts that you are enjoying, the gifts of nature, the gifts of material things.

Hopefully, with these realizations then the more we become grateful to Jesus and generous of ourselves to others. Hinaut pa.

Jom Baring, CSsR

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