The Catholic Defender: The People of Tyre Seek Her Favor
"The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are week, say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing" (Isaiah 35:1-6).
This is a clear reference to Jesus and it is interesting that Isaiah says, "Here is your God". He did not understand the incarnation, this event happened centuries following his prophecies. The Catholic Church recognizes Jesus to be the fulfillment of this prophecy. Jesus opens the eyes to the blind, and the deaf hears. Consider the following:
Jesus was in the district of Tyre and healed a woman with an unclean spirit, he cured the woman who was of Greek origin, a Gentile. Then Jesus left Tyre and traveled to Decapolis where the news of Jesus spread. The people brought in a deaf man with a speech impediment. Jesus cured the man putting his finger into the mans ears, and spitting, touched the man's tongue. Jesus says to the man, "Ephphatha" meaning "Be opened". The man was instantly cured and was able to speak plainly. Jesus ordered the people not to tell anyone about these miracles but the people could not hold back. I can relate to that because when I have witnessed something of the Lord, I can't keep from talking about it! Jesus astonished the people making the deaf hear and the mute speak. Something about this place called Tyre I couldn't help but ponder on. Tyre is a City with a history of oppression.
Tyre is a city on an Island off the coast of Lebanon. The City was prosperous for the purple dye that was made there. The dye was taken from murex shellfish that was called "Tyrian Purple". The city came under siege by Shalmanesar V with the help of his Phoenician fighters. Tyre would be completely ransacked by King Nebuchadnezzar for gloating over the fall of Jerusalem about 370 B.C. The City was again conquered by Alexander the Great. The City of Tyre was occupied by the Romans which gave them independence in 64 B.C. Later on, even the Crusaders would get into the act during the crusades. It is interesting that Jesus visited there healing a Gentile of a demon spirit. No matter what obstacles you might encounter, Jesus can liberate you from bondage as he did the blind, the deaf, and the mute. Sometimes we might be blinded by our own selves, we need to be saved from ourselves so many times.
With all this excitement taking place, Jesus did not want to leave out His Mother as a source of help for those who are down trodden. Consider that Psalms 45:13 refers to Mary as "daughter of Tyre"! It says, "Listen, my daughter, and understand; pay me heed. Forget your people and your Father's house, that the king might desire your beauty. He is your Lord; honor him, daughter of Tyre" (Psalms 45 11-13). What people is Mary being asked to forget? It would have to be the Jews. Who would be Mary's "Father's House"? This would have to be a reference to the House of King David. Why would she be called "daughter of Tyre"? It has to do with the Gentiles and the Church. Notice that the richest of the people of Tyre would seek her favor. This is a most important scripture because it shows that even during the time of King David, God was already planning for the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of the Catholic Church. God's people will be rich for seeking her favor, notice this popular prayer: "Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen."
I want to make a point here because some people from "Tyre" do not understand the Virgin Mary's role here. She is not being worshiped nor glorified as a god with this language. The Virgin Mary is the Queen of heaven because Jesus in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In this war against Satan, Mary is identified as the Mother of all the Christians. Revelation 12:17 states, "Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus." The richest will seek her favor, "The throne of your fathers your sons will have; you shall make them princes through the land" (Psalms 45:17). Let us who follow Christ, like St. John, invite the Mother of Jesus into our house so that we would become her princes who serve the Lord.