Fr. Nnamdi Moneme: Even in Our Present Distress, the Good Shepherd Seeks Us

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By Fr. Nnamdi Moneme, OMV, Catholic Exchange, April 29, 2020

Fr. Nnamdi Moneme OMV is a Roman Catholic Priest of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary currently on missionary assignment in the Philippines. He serves in the Congregations’ Retreat Ministry and in the House of Formation for novices and theologians in Antipolo, Philippines. He blogs at

Fr. Nnamdi Moneme, OMVThe fifteenth chapter of St. Luke’s Gospel begins with Jesus describing Himself as the shepherd who leaves ninety-nine of His sheep in the wilderness and goes in search of the single lost sheep. He never abandons the single lost sheep but keeps searching for it until He finds it and brings it back home. He finds His joy only when the lost sheep returns to the fold.

St. Luke’s Gospel also ends with the story of risen Christ perfectly fulfilling this relentless shepherd image. The two disciples are discouraged, dejected, and disappointed with all that has taken place at Jerusalem. All their hopes and expectations in Christ had been crushed. So they do what we all like to do when things appear hopeless and distressing – look for something to distract us and argue with each other. The journey to Emmaus was probably to take their minds away from the painful and mysterious things that had taken place before and after the resurrection of Jesus had been announced.

The disguised risen Christ does not ignore them but goes in search of them, “Jesus Himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.” While keeping Himself unrecognizable to them, He conversed with them, pretended not knowing at all what they were talking about, rebuked them for their “slowness of heart to believe all that was spoken of Him by the prophets,” and then pretended to be going further than their destination of Emmaus. It was ultimately at the Eucharist that He revealed Himself to them.  …

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