Reflection Paper, On Job, Gurierrez

1535 words - 7 pages

Reflection Paper: On Job PAGE 7
(Gutierrez G 1987 On Job: God Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent)COS 512 Reflection Paper: On JobReflection Paper: On JobGod has a preferential love for the poor not because they are necessarily better than others, morally or religiously, but simply because they are poor and living in an inhuman situation that is contrary to God's will. The ultimate basis for the privileged position of the poor is not in the poor themselves but in God, in the gratuitousness and universality of God's agapeic love. (p.94)Gustavo Gutierrez,On Job: God-talk and the Suffering of the InnocentInitial UnderstandingThe further we are from God's will, the greater God mourns and ...view middle of the document...

I may have confused or mingled views based on nationalism with theology. Phrases such as Lincolns, "proposition that all men are created equal", or "with liberty and justice for all" ring of, and are rooted in biblical principles from the speakers' perspective; however, they have come to imply a holy priority with the United States on or near the top.A worthy question is; why does God have a preference for the poor? Perhaps God hears the poor with preference because they cry the loudest. Gutierrez reminds us that, "This cry cannot be muted. Those who suffer unjustly have a right to complain and protest. Their cry expresses both their bewilderment and their faith" (p.101). This expression of faith speaks to God in a language that the full and complacent do not often speak. In regards to the faith of the poor and oppressed, Gutierrez repeatedly points to a disinterested religion as an important faith component necessary for the suffering innocent (p. 15, et al). The faith cry's of the poor are not demands for reward, nor are they acknowledgements of just punishment. These are cries of hope, tears that acknowledge the presence of God among the trials and oppression.This preference is based on a divine love with no conditions and no limits. The "poor" understand that God loves them without the evidence of temporal reward, they understand their suffering as unwarranted, as does Job. "The world of retribution-and not of temporal retribution only-is not where God dwells; at most God visits it" (p.88). Retribution is generally understood as getting something you justly deserve, or the act of correcting wrongdoing. God's preferential view of the poor as characterized by Gutierrez stems from the Grace of God in response to exceptional injustice. God recognizes the particular plight of the poor and oppressed and comes to their defense.The PoorGutierrez makes the distinction that "poor" does not mean simply the opposite of rich. He again points to the gospel to illustrate that the revelation of God made flesh in Jesus came primarily to those who could not help themselves, not merely the economically or spiritually deprived. The "poor" are those in need, particularly those in need of rescue from oppression; a need not brought on by their actions, but by their circumstances (p. xii).Gutierrez highlights this by illustrating that Job understood poor to mean those who needed and deserved assistance. The response to this "need" does not end with assistance, but "requires their liberation" (pp. 40-41). Liberation is not the sole responsibility of God. God's will for all of God's children is that we acknowledge injustice and respond faithfully by providing aid and joining the poor in solidarity. In this way the poor represent more than the object of mission trips. The poor of South America, Africa, and others worldwide, remind us of the failures of humanity. Failures we likely contribute to, or in the least deny by our indifference.Morally and ReligiouslyThe three...

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