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.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.
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.
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 openedand to show the world that the Messiah had come.
the ears of the deaf unstopped.
The lame will leap like a stag
and the tongue of the mute shall sing.
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.