About a year ago, I received a text message from Merly Tabujara, a schoolteacher and a highly developed natural psychic and visionary from Silay City, Negros Occidental, who has been a longtime reader of my columns and books, but whom I met personally only once in Manila.
The text message said: “Good morning, Sir, I just saw an image of Christ behind you, the image of Christ the King stretching His hands upward…and another image of Him, his left hand on His heart and the right hand formed a sign of peace.”
I told her that was not the first time somebody saw Christ with me or in me, but I completely ignored such visions as purely imaginary and have no objective meaning.
But for some reason, I did not and could not erase that message from my cell phone’s inbox. Every now and then, I would see Merly’s text when I reviewed my messages, but I still gave it no more than ordinary attention. For one thing, I am not particularly a religious man and I even tended to doubt the historical existence of Jesus Christ. In fact, I had actually written in my column that no contemporary historian during Jesus’ time ever acknowledged or witnessed that he existed. All references to Jesus by such early historians as Josephus and Tacitus mentioned Jesus only as quoted by his Christian followers but no eyewitness report from independent non-Christian sources. So how can a nonexistent entity be in me?
As days and weeks passed, I began thinking if I really had any connection, either psychic or mystical, with the Christ personality. In my conscious mind, he does not hold as much of an appeal to me as Mary Magdalene does, especially in recent years. I read almost all major literature about the Magdalene, including the Gnostic Gospels found in Nag Hammadi, Upper Egypt, in 1945. In one of these gospels, the Gospel of Philip for example, it was very clear that Jesus and Magdalene had a very intimate relationship. Clearly, they were lovers. And I saw nothing wrong with that. Why shouldn’t a very human Jesus fall in love with another lovely human being? But that’s another story.
One day, while in deep thought, it suddenly struck me like a bolt of lightning striking the anti-Christian Roman soldier Saul, that what Merly texted me was not the first time somebody supposedly saw Jesus Christ in me or enter me. My memory went back to 1990s at the apartment of Boy Roa, a former talent scout and promoter, who allowed a mysterious 92-year-old spiritual woman, named Apo Ina, to stay in his place because she had nowhere else to go. She had no known relatives and no one really knew where she came from. She apparently had powers to heal and to read people psychically.
The first thing that greeted a visitor in Apo Ina’s place were the different statues of many religious figures, like Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mother, St. Joseph, St. Michael the Archangel, various Christian saints and the ever-present Sto. Niño.
Being very sensitive to vibrations, I found the energy in front of those statues very strong indeed. Many stories of miraculous events happening in that place began to spread, especially after I had written an article about it in Mr. and Mrs. Magazine. Filipino and foreign friends I brought to the place all experienced the strong energy there. Where the energy was coming from, I couldn’t tell.
One day, I was invited to witness the materialization of thousands of Communion hosts scattered all over the statues and on the floor and something strange happened to me. This is how I described the incident in my book “True Encounters with the Unknown” (Published in 2000 by Anvil Publishing).
“As soon as I arrived, I felt the energy in front of the altar to be very strong. I started taking pictures of the scattered hosts with my small camera. Then I called out to Boy and said, ‘It’s very strong.’ As soon as I said that, I fell into a trance and collapsed on the floor in front of the altar.
“Apo Ina started praying aloud asking the invisible divine beings to bring my spirit back to my body. Somebody tried to lift my body and place me on a chair, but he could not lift me. ‘He’s too heavy,’ he complained. Somebody said, ‘Let him lie down, just get a pillow and place it under his head.’ This was what they did.
“As I lay for some minutes on the floor, Apo Ina started singing a message, something about my mission. Her singing was effortless and inspired, and I know the words were directed to me.
“Shortly afterward, my right hand slowly began moving up and my fingers formed a mudra or posture of the hand of the resurrected Christ, then it gave a blessing to the people present. My left hand began to move too and both hands formed a position as though receiving something. Both my palms were up. Then both hands closed and opened again.
“The motions of my hands were very slow. Somebody said the Resurrected Christ was inside me. With eyes closed, I was aware of what was happening but had no control over my body.
“After Apo Ina had stopped saying the message aloud, I slowly opened my eyes. I saw there were more people behind me than when I got there.
“Apo Ina said she saw my two palms bore fresh wounds with blood. Another witness, an elderly woman named Lola Ampi, excitedly said she saw the same thing. ‘Your hand radiated a very bright light and I saw a hole on each palm, like a wound. When you pointed your hand to me, I felt a strong energy. It went to my chest and cleared my breathing.’
“Another woman, Cecilia Flores-Oebanda, said she saw me enveloped in a white mist. She felt weak and almost collapsed. Even after I opened my eyes and was out of trance, she said she was still feeling weak as she related the incredible story.
“I, on the other hand, felt nothing extraordinary or different about my hands. Neither did my wife nor Boy Roa see anything extraordinary. Whatever they saw was certainly not physical in nature (or perhaps could be seen only through clairvoyant vision). But whenever I meditated after that, I could feel a very strong tingling sensation on both palms.”
That incident was soon forgotten by me and I never thought or spoke about it to anybody. Apo Ina said I could heal, but I never considered myself a healer.
Next Week: Mystical Encounters with Christ, Part II
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