Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger
Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger

Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5:5

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I know this is a difficult time with reports surfacing on Bishop Hubbard’s request to return to the lay state. Emotions are varied. Questions are many. How do you resolve the impact on yourself? What do you say to the people you serve? I urge you to look to the cross, follow the example of Jesus. We are called to love through it, to be His heart, His hands, His feet in the world, especially when it is difficult.

Jesus suffered. If you are joining in the Marian Consecration, you know (Nov. 19 began) the focus on Mother Teresa of Calcutta. In fact (the) reading shares her thoughts on suffering and the message that in our suffering, He is with us. In her own words, she said, “Suffering has to come because if you look at the cross, he has got his head bending down – he wants to kiss you – and he has both hands open wide – he wants to embrace you.”

We are not alone. We are a community in Christ. Let’s pray together. Pray for Bishop Hubbard, that his decisions and actions are in accord with God, our loving Father. Pray for his close circle, that they have the compassionate heart of Christ to guide him in his decisions. Pray for healing in our Church, for all who have been hurt in one way or another. The needs are many – those abused, the abusers, the people who don't understand, people who are angry that this happened.

Hope and healing are needed but won’t come if we stand by and wait for them. We are part of the solution. Joined with Christ, we must continue His mission here and now. Pray, lean on the Sacraments, Scripture, Mass – receive Him into your minds, hearts, and souls. Nurture your connection to Him so you can share that connection with others. And teach all how to listen for His guidance. Jesus is the answer. He is with us, right now. He is standing at your side, embracing you, walking with you, sharing your pain, sharing His love. Share that.

Let’s BE that community in Christ, walking with Him, walking together, helping each other to grow stronger – to heal. Through Him, with Him, in Him, healing IS possible.

Yours in Him,

Bishop Ed