Women of Nazareth, Women of Hope: Basma, Hala and Mary

9 Dec

On yesterday’s Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception we heard Luke’s proclamation: “In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth …”

Hearing Gabriel’s greeting to Mary of Nazareth, I cannot help but send a greeting to two other women of Nazareth: Basma and Hala. These two extraordinary Christian women are counsellors in Catholic schools in Nazareth. Hala and Basma visited Cincinnati with other teachers from Latin Patriarchate schools from the West Bank and from Jordan, as part of a project called HOPE: Holy Land Outreach to Palestinian Educators. They are pictured below receiving gifts at the Farewell Dinner, in a photo taken by Mark Bowen.

Mary of Nazareth, responding to God’s desire and invitation to enter our world as one like us, brought Hope into the world, translate, brought Jesus, who is our hope, our only hope, into the world.

Basma and Hala, women of Nazareth, responding to God’s desire and invitation to bring reconciliation and justice into our world, bring hope to their students and build opportunities and dignity into their lives.

Beneath the Basilica of the Annunciation, in their beloved hometown of Nazareth, Basma and Hala visit often the grotto of the Annunciation, the very place of the conversation between God’s angel and God’s mother.In this place, as Mary did, so Hala and Basma respond with, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

Greetings, Basma and Hala. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women. May the angel never depart from you.

3 Responses to “Women of Nazareth, Women of Hope: Basma, Hala and Mary”

  1. HALA December 21, 2011 at 2:19 am #

    Father Rob thank you very much for what you have wrote. It is realy something special to live in Nazareth. This year the preparations for Christmas were great. I am waiting for Christmas Eve to be in the Basilica. I wish you would have come to celebrate with us in the small town of Nazareth. Think about it for next year.
    God bless

  2. farah graieb(hala's husband) December 21, 2011 at 4:14 am #

    dear father ROB WALLER
    god bless you and thank you for your wonderful touching words
    we wich you a Merry Christmas full of hope,love,faith and health
    and hope to see you soon
    with our love
    farah(hala’s husband)

    • Father Rob Waller December 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

      Dear “husband of Hala of Nazareth” – it feels like I am writing to St. Joseph – it would make me very happy some day to meet you and your boys. Please tell your boys that today I received a Christmas greeting from Brian Kelly and his family. Brian Kelly is the footbal (American football) coach of the famous “fighting Irish” of Notre Dame University. I know that the boys like SPORTS! We will meet one day, ensha’allah! – Father Rob

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