Grace-filled delay

By Fr. Dondon N. Aquino |June 30,2018 - 11:22 PM

Looks like everyone agrees that any kind or form of delay is a disgrace.

A delayed flight is not only disgusting. It mars and diminishes people’s confidence to the airline company. A delayed service is so annoying and easily ignites anger. We even say that justice delayed is justice denied. These are just a few of the manifold apparent experiences anybody has encounted, and can happen to any one at any given time.

Although technically considered a delay, when a priest comes in late for the Mass, there is a witty and ready compromising assessment of the situation. Understated or exaggerated, but as the defense goes, a priest is never late. Has the celebration already started or half-way through when he arrived? But if a minister is habitually late, then that’s another issue.

How about a delayed reaction to a joke? It’s plainly funny.

Tardiness is a real issue especially in these our times when everything zaps through before we notice it’s over. We are in a rat race. Every single second counts. We are so stringent. But these, too, are part of the countless converging elements causing delay in our fast-paced lifestyle.

Only if we know how to slow down a bit, relax once in a while, or lossen up every now and then.

Despite the negative impressions a delay can get, it somehow paves the way for significantly valuable realizations.

Patient endurance is cultivated in the face of such events. Open-mindedness, too, is needed for the inevitabilities and the unforseen. Even if we always stand our ground by insisting that this or that could have been prevented if…

Call these delays moments of essential learning experiences, grace-filled events, or blessings in disguise.

This is one curious aspect presented in today’s Gospel reading taken from Mark 5:21-43, especially through the snippet about the woman suffering fatally from hemorrhages (vv25-35a) inserted into the narrative. The woman’s daring intrusion delayed the narrative flow, but nevertheless adds color and further dimension to the force of the gospel message.

Jairus’ faith was tested in a twofold manner: for his daughter’s restoration to health (first half) and for her restoration to life (second half). And after his request, his silence throughout the subsequent events, even to Jesus’ delay and despite the crowd’s ridiculing unbelief, has proven his trust and confidence in Jesus.

The delay restored the woman who suffered greatly and was at the point of death, thereby, foreshadowing Jairus’ daughter’s restoration to life at the episode’s end.

The gospel was not just about gracious encounters, but also an emphasis on a grace-filled delay.

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