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People nowadays rave about a new tidying-up method called KonMari. Developed by a Japanese woman the method makes use of sentiments in deciding whether to keep or get rid of something in your house. For example, touch your clothes and feel if there is a spark of joy that occurs within you. If there is, then by all means keep the item. In the absence of this “spark” you have every reason to rid yourself of the thing.

While we may not be so aware of the presence or absence of a spark of joy in the things we own, we have a similar distinctive feeling when it comes to people. Some people fascinate and interest us. And some people, we naturally detest, specially if these people are those we consider as wicked, dangerous or shameful.

This is what happened in the Gospel today. John writes of a woman caught in adultery and the Jewish sensibility points to an immediate condemnation, judgment and punishment. She must be publicly humiliated and chastised. She was a sinner and there is no room for sinners in the society of the Jews.

To the chagrin of all, Jesus pointed out that the woman was not the only sinner. All around her stood sinners who could not, in the end, throw the first stone. Jesus did not want to embarrass the crowd. All he wanted was to demonstrate how every sinner, specially the most despised, “sparks joy” in his heart, in the heart of God.

For Jesus, no person is dispensable. Every person is valuable. How difficult it is to believe in this attitude and action of the Lord in a time when many of us, even the young, are taught to label, to ostracize, to push people away to the margins of society and to the fringes of our heart.

The wisdom of God saved the woman. This same wisdom saves us too, for we are all sinners who only God can truly love and appreciate. We spark joy in the heart of God. Must we not also imbibe the same attitude towards sinners in our midst?

I remember a meme form Audrey Hepburn: “People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.”

But better still are the words of the Lord to all of us today – “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”