Wednesday, April 20, 2011

30 pieces of silver, then and now

The Gospel today narrates the story about the 30 pieces of silver, as they were about to be handed on to Judas Escariot. (Mat 26:14-25)

Many people speculate just how much 30 pieces of silver would cost nowadays. One estimate puts it at about US Dollars ($) 15,000. That would be around Pesos (P) 645,000 in our currency. Seems reasonable, and just about squares with the same amount mentioned likewise to buy the "potter's field" in Matthew 27:6-10. One can already buy a nice chunk of agricultural land with that much money hereabouts.

The thing in Matthew's narratives that strikes most is that there was no indication that Judas really needed the money. There was no compelling reason at all which says he had to have 30 pieces of silver at whatever cost. The fact that later accounts narrate that he only threw away the money in regret, is enough proof that in the first place, he never needed the money at all.

How often have we longed for material things yet in the final analysis - we don't really need them. Worse, we even barter our souls in return.

This reminds me of the 35M Euros being dangled by the European Union towards propagating contraceptives here in the Philippines. That is about 2 billion pesos in local currency. Quite a hefty sum but the catch is - the donation is supposed to be used exclusively for contraceptives.

I now recall the phrase commonly attributed to Marie-Antoinette the Queen. When told that the French populace had no bread to eat, she reportedly said: "Let them eat cake!". I am aware we have many hungry countrymen around us, yet the obvious fact is we can't feed them condoms, nor pills, nor IUDs. What our poor countrymen really need is decent jobs to enable them to feed themselves properly and live with dignity. And they need it now.

There must be some other trumps-everything need for pushing contraceptives, for our president just offered himself up for "excommunication" in return.

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