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     Luke 13:1-9 describes Jesus dealing with tragedies affecting many, not delving into the why or cause, but focusing on the aftermath, where our choices make a huge difference on how we respond to what life brings.  Repenting allows us to choose again, to see another way, and not get stuck in a path that is not loving and full of grace.

     At age 8 - 9, I made my share of mistakes (which I continue to this day!).  To help soothe my feeling bad and guilt, I would often do this simple exercise, closing my eyes I would then say to myself:  “From the next moment on, when I open my eyes…everything will start fresh”. I had forgotten about this, but the late Mits Aoki (who shared his wisdom generously) said to “connect the dots’ in your life, the dots being the significant experiences that affected you but don’t label it good or bad, it just is.  So when I remembered that I would practice to “start fresh” after my mistakes, I was surprised that I was actually doing a form of repentance, forgiveness, and letting go in my youthful days, probably within a context of attending church and surrounded by good people at Kalihi.

     Let us remember that repenting is like a purification exercise, allowing us to see a better way, and then making the conscious choice to follow another path alongside with Jesus, showing us the way.
          (Merton Chinen,, Kalihi Congregation)