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Chapter 14:

A Lost Sheep Alert Jake told Tobi, “Benjie probably just stepped out for a moment. Perhaps my parents know where he went.” Jake then asked his parents, “Have you seen Benjie?” His parents nodded their heads and said, “No.” Father Timothy then said to the group, “Rodrigo, you and I will stay here with your grandpa and Benjie’s mom in case Benjie returns back here.” Jake’s father then instructed everyone else to split up into three groups, each lead by either Todd, Michael, or Juan. The seminarians knew the area and could help the search go more effectively. Before everyone headed out to look for Benjie, Father Timothy called for everyone’s attention. “Before we begin, let us take a moment to ask for God’s help.” So everyone took a deep breath, made the Sign of the Cross, and bowed Page 2 of 6 © RCL Benziger

their heads. Father Timothy began, “Lord, you are our Good Shepherd. You keep watch over all of your sheep. Help us to find our lost sheep, Benjie.” Jake then added, “Good Shepherd, please keep my little brother safe until we find him.” There was a pause, and then everyone said, “Amen.” The three groups then went in three different directions and looked for Benjie. After an hour of searching, the three groups returned to the parish hall. Each of the three groups returned without finding Benjie. Benjie’s mother started to cry, and so Jake and his father went over to comfort her. “It looks like it is time to make a few phone calls,” said Grandpa Ortiz, “If Benjie is not here, then perhaps he went home or over to a friend’s house.” “If Benjie is not home or at a friend’s house, then we need to immediately call the police, “Father Mark interjected as he approached the group gathered in the parish hall. Father Mark continued, “Juan, Todd, and Michael go ahead and return the rental van. We’ll continue the efforts here while we wait to hear back on Page 3 of 6 © RCL Benziger

whether Benjie is home or at a friend’s house.”

The seminarians walked back to the rental van worried. Even though they knew that they had to return the van before the store closed at 6:00 p.m., they still wanted to look for Benjie. Todd opened the rear door of the van to make sure they had taken everything out. He saw a big lump under the moving blankets. He called Michael to help him fold the blankets. When Michael lifted the first blanket he discovered that the lump was in fact Benjie sound asleep. Todd nudged Benjie, “Wake up, Benjie! Everyone is worried about you.” As Benjie awoke he suddenly realized that he had fallen asleep. Benjie said, “I just wanted to close my eyes for a moment in a quiet place. I am so sorry.” Michael said, “Okay, Benjie. We are very relieved that you are safe and sound.”

The four of them returned to the parish hall where they found the group preparing to call the police. Cheers erupted as Benjie walked into the room. “We have found our lost sheep!” shouted Tobi. His parents rushed over to Benjie and hugged him with so much relief and happiness. Page 4 of 6 © RCL Benziger

Rodrigo said to everyone, “You know we just had a real lost sheep experience. Just as we heard at Mass today.” Ellie thought out loud, “You’re right. Jesus is our Good Shepherd.” Marissa then added, “We were really worried about you, Benjie.” Benjie then apologized to everyone. He explained that he just went to find a quiet place, but knew he should have told someone where he was going. Benjie then asked Father Timothy, “Do I need to go to Confession now?” Father Timothy then said to Benjie, “That’s probably a good idea for all of us.” Father Timothy then looked at his flock of sheep and said, “Jesus is definitely our Good Shepherd. He wants all of us to stay close to him. And when we separate ourselves from him, we can return to him with all our hearts in the Sacrament of Penance. I would like for all of you to be my special guests at the Parish’s Reconciliation Service this Tuesday night.” The Explorers all looked at each other with concern. Manuel said, “Well Father, I can’t make it. I have a science project to work on.” “Me neither, Father. I won’t be able to get a ride. My Page 5 of 6 © RCL Benziger

parents work on Tuesday nights,” Marissa said. “That’s my night to clean up the kitchen after supper. So, there’s no way I can come either,” chimed in Ellie. “I think that I have to practice my guitar,” Rodrigo said. Tobi looked at Benjie to see what he would say. “Well, I know that I need to go. I will be there, Father,” said Benjie.” Then everyone looked at Jake. --------------TIME TO VOTE

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Season 2, Chapter 14  

A Lost Sheep Alert