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Reflection Paper, On Job, Gutierrez

1347 words - 5 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 desires us back; regardless of the cause or source of our distancing. Gustavo Gutierrez, in his book, On Job: God-Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent, clearly, frequently, and in a variety of ways, makes the claim that suffering should not be assumed to be the result of punishment, or punishment for, disobedience to God. Conversely, it is among the suffering innocent that we find the language most suitable to speak of the, "gratuitousness and universality of God's agapeic love" (p. 94).Interestingly, Gutierrez did not begin this journey in Job. It is among the gospel writers that Gutierrez first evidences God's preferential concern for the poor. He offers references to scripture's which challenge the authority of the elite, religious, social, or otherwise. He points to Jesus' own words and actions to illustrate that the poor and oppressed have, "a greater capacity for understanding revelation" (pp. xii-xiii).The following pages reflect a close examination of the focus passage; considering Gutierrez's claim of privilege and God's response to need, as we seek to discover our own God-talk.ExaminationPreferential LoveThis term, on it's own, grates against my preconceived understanding of the equality and universality of God's love. 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...

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