The potentiality of Gifts

Giver & Receiver have immense abilities

arun simon
3 min readMar 25, 2024

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” (Jn 12, 1–8)

Mary, like her siblings Martha and Lazarus, loved Jesus and have experienced the love and mercy of him. She wants to offer a gift, or an offering to Jesus. He anointed Jesus with an expensive oil. We don’t have much resources to know whether their family was rich or poor, but I think they were not poor; they could have been middle class or rich. All these considerations are secondary. The cost of the perfume is not important, but Mary offered it as a gift. Her intention was an act of love towards Jesus, his loving friend. And interestingly Jesus, the receiver of he gifts, transforms it into something Mary never expected. It was an anointing for the day of his funeral.

Let’s give a thought about eucharist. There is bread and wine, the gifts of he people. They are transformed into Jesus. Again the receiver transforms the ordinary into something unimaginable.

Brené Brown, one of my favourite speakers, (do watch her ted talk, watched by 2 crore people already in YouTube) speaks of the possibility of transforming vulnerabilities into shame or joy or creativity. Passion, the greatest vulnerable moment of Jesus, leads to resurrection.

When we have feelings of anger, irritation, hatred, jealousy, there is always a potential to personal growth within these emotions. Can they become gift set to be transformed into a bigger gift? Surrendering our emotions to God can see God transforming them into love, peace and joy. To give another example, a good reflection on my own jealousy can help me to grow in my self esteem and in acceptance (others and I).

2 take aways, one each for the giver and the receiver…

  1. An authentic gift is a sign of the love and joy of the giver, which automatically improves the relationship.
  2. When receiver accepts and appreciates the sentiments and intentions of the gift, receiver has also the potential to transform it into something much beyond the intention of the giver. This transformation radically transforms relationships. A forgiveness offered and received has transformed the life of many. (think of St Paul)

Any gift authentically given and accepted can be a real game changer in relationships.



arun simon

A Jesuit with all the crazyness… Loves Jesus…Loves church, but loves to challenge too… Loves post modern philosophy & Gilles Deleuze.. Loves deep conversations…