“Pentecost Sunday,” A Gospel Reflection by Fr. Efren Jimenez, OFM

“We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit…”

Thus, we read in ACTS 19:2
Today, many Christians may have asked the same question. But strangely sometimes the Holy Spirit manifests Himself in a wonderful way. This happened to Dr. Joel Jimenez, M.D., my cousin who works and lives with his family in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. He is not a religious person, but simply works hard as he is committed to his medical profession. He testified in the opening words in the book he wrote May God Bless You (Xlibris Corp. 2010).

“ One night, I suddenly had an inner indescribable feeling I had to write something. Some thoughts entered my mind as if someone was telling me to do something. I was afraid I would hear voices and be labeled with a psychiatric condition. Thank God I didn’t hear any voices but suddenly my mind and body were guiding me to look for a pen and paper.Instantaneously, without my control, with a pen in my hand, I started to write words, phrases and sentences, which I think were divinely-inspired. I was totally aware of what was going on. With several thoughts entering my mind, my hand started to write, ”I am God talking to you. Don’t be afraid for I am using you to spread the Gospel in the modern world. People have forgotten to pray. They even deny my existence. They no longer respect me – their creator. I’ll use you to tell people I love them unconditionally…that this world would be a better place to live in if there is less greed and less hatred. Tell them to show more love and respect to one another. Tell people to share their wealth because they can’t take it with them. I’m a loving and forgiving God. I want people to be happy and have a sense of humor. I’m not vengeful but I could show my anger if I want to. Most of the human misery and suffering are from their own making.”

“So, I was asking myself and God what was the significance of all this? Then in the Fall of 2009, an idea came out of nowhere when I started writing and typing some Bible passages. I used the idea similar to acrostics, highlighting certain letters in some Bible passages, indenting the words and phrases, aligning those letters vertically and creating inspirational and powerful messages or themes. I researched the word acrostic and surprisingly found the symbol for Jesus Christ was a fish acrostic. The initials ICHTHYS (IX0YE) is the Greek word for fish i.e. Ieous, CHristos, THeou, Yios, Soter, hence the frequent use of the fish as a symbol for Jesus Christ from the early days of Christianity to the present time.”

Matthew 28: 16-20

Then the eleven disciPles went to Galilee, to the mountain wheRe Jesus had told thEm to go. When they sAw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus Came to tHem and said, “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me. Therefore Go and make disciples Of all nationS, baPtizing them in the namEof the Father and of the Son and of the HoLy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of age. (Preach the Gospel.)

Matthew 5:1-12

Now when Jesus saw THE crowds, He went up on a mountainside and at down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, and saying: Blessed arE the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heAven. Blessed are Those who mourn, for they wIll be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for They will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hUngeranD thirst for rightEousness, for they will be filled. BlesSed re the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (The Beatitudes)

1 John3:16-24

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our Brothers. If anyonEhasmateriaLpossessIons and sees his brothEr in need but has no pity on him, how can the loVe of God bE in hIm? Dear childreN, let us not love in words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belonGto the truth, and hOw we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts conDemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pLeases him. And this is his cOmmand: to belieVe in the namE of hissOn, Jesus Christ, aNd to love one Another as he commanded us. Those who obey his cOmmands live in him and he in Them. An tHis is how we know that he livEs in us: We know it by the spiRit he gave us. (Believe in God, love one another.)

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In these examples, the author was able to “read” the hidden theme or thought behind the scripture passage. It is by the motion of the Holy Spirit that guided how the message was revealed in few words. Amazing indeed!

About Fr. EJ and his reflections