Saturday, December 11, 2010

Scripture Saturday--Being Healed

When I was reading the Gospel for this Sunday, I realized something I hadn't before.

Jesus is answering a question put to him by John the Baptist's disciples.  They ask him if he is "the one to come, or shall we look for another."   Here is His answer:
Go and tell John what you see and hear.
The blind regain their sight,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
 ~Matthew 11
I never realized before that Christ puts hearing the good news on par with being cured of leprosy, or deafness.  There are so many times in our lives when we wonder why we have not been healed, or why a loved one was not healed.

It seems that Jesus tells us here that hearing the good news, which was the Kingdom of God is among you *is* being healed on par with being cured of a physical illness.

The purpose of Jesus' healing ministry was not to heal everyone who needed physical healing.  His physical healing ministry was born, of course, out of His deep compassion for all he encountered, but also, it was to fulfill the ancient prophecy of Isaiah (which is this Sunday's first reading):
The eyes of the blind shall be opened
the ears of the deaf unstopped.
The lame will leap like a stag
and the tongue of the mute shall sing.
~Isaiah 35
and to show the world that the Messiah had come.

Even John the Baptist seemed perplexed that Jesus, perhaps, was not fitting his preconceived notion of what the Messiah would be.  Many in Israel expected Him to be powerful in a  political sense.  But Jesus was called, and calls us, to something much deeper than political "freedom" or physical healing.  He calls us to a deep oneness with the Father.


newguy40 said...

We had a guest celebrant yesterday.
A Franciscan friar and priest from a Franciscan retreat center a bit south of us.

His homily touched on your point about our expectations of God. About how we put our own view and prejudice in to how we expect to see God. He made the same point about John's expectation too.

And, for me, what was really great was how the Father reminded us that God is here with us now. Just as Jesus reminded John's follower's, "The blind are made to see, the sick are healed, the poor have the Good News of the Kingdon preached to them", these are ALL happening even now. Especially in those who minister to the sick, homeless and rejected.

TACParent said...

Sometimes I wonder if there is a double message in the scripture that says, "the blind will see, the deaf will hear." Meaning that those who couldn't "see" or "hear" His message would be able to and that would be the healing. In other words, they may be able to hear, like any human, but closed off to His message. Not sure I'm saying it clearly. Hope I am ....

Dymphna said...

That's a great point, Newguy. We are all called to do all of those every day.

And, I agree, T. Definitely a double meaning, like so much of scripture.

Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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