Anger trips up most of the Faithful. Anger is one form of dealing with frustration. Anger reveals itself in many ways. Anger is always wrong when it causes the Faithful to look away from God. God himself is a healing balm, the ultimate source of relief the focus of attention here. Saint Ephraim (+373), the Deacon, Confessor and Doctor warns, “Because of the things that distress thee thou hast abandoned prayer.” Because they abandon prayer, wrath, and anger are themselves hateful things.
Sirach 27:33 begins by observing, “wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.” Such hugging is a danger for these Personal Notes, engendered by disconcerting sloppy scholarship in the Lectionary. The Lectionary identifies the verse quoted above as 30, whereas the Nova Vulgata, promoted by the Vatican as the standard, identifies verse 30 as verse 33. These Personal Notes do go into detail about sloppy scholarship in the Lectionary. My prayer has to be in the context of Sirach 28:1, whereby the Lord will not remember my “sins in detail.”
The knack must be in light of Sirach 28:3, not to “nourish anger against another.” Sirach 28:9 (identified by sloppy scholarship in the Lectionary as 28:7) is specific, “remember the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.” When faults are painful, how does one deal with the pain? The covenant is the worthy anesthetic against pain.
Though Psalm 103 is used in the Lectionary,
verse 13 is not. Psalm 103:18 is not used anywhere in the Lectionary, though
it does identify the Covenant with the Law. The Law, then, helps deal with
Psalm 103:8, the Responsorial antiphon, reminds the Faithful “the Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.” Though Psalm 103:18 is not used anywhere, the Liturgical Cycles do use other parts of Psalm 103 six times, twice in each of the three Cycles, A, B, and C. The Faithful are now in Cycle A. The Order for Christian Funerals uses Psalm 103 in prayer twice. Pastoral Care of the Sick uses Psalm 103 in prayer twice more. Psalm 103:8-9 also influences the Prophet Micah 7:18. Psalm 103:11 offers the Faithful hope. “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.”
Lectionary (1998): that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
The Vulgate (circa 410): ut et mortuorum et vivorum dominetur.
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610) that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
New American (1970) that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
New Jerusalem (1985): so that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
My difficulty with the translation arises from the lack of parallel grammatical construction between dead and living. The problem arises out of the Greek that uses the aorist tense that English does not have. The aorist expresses an action begun and finished in the past, but continuing into the present.
Be Lord is also a difficult translation from the Greek for establish his lordship or be master, rule. In the final analysis, there is no better translation of Romans 14:9b than the Lectionary. Even the Jerusalem Bible, after making a change, changed back to the King James Version and Douay-Rheims version. Such frustration does cause pain and anguish against the legitimate sophisticated standards of academic rigor.
Romans 14:7-9 is about the unsophisticated frustration
and pain of physical death. Other references to the death of
The Lectionary juxtaposes Sirach 27:33, “wrath
and anger are hateful things” with
While the Lectionary translation of
Applying the standards of academic rigor to Sacred
Scripture can help understanding. Aesop’s
Fables and other fables are comparable with the parables of Jesus. In both, the main character comments on the
action. The similarity provides the
context in which Mary Ann Beavis quotes R.
Barbara E. Reid, O.P. goes on to explain that the parable “can be read as saying that it is not God who actively punishes with violence; rather, human beings who choose to fuel cycles of violence instead of imitating God’s gratuitous love cause violence to redound to themselves.” The Dominican Sister goes on, “images of powerful males operating in imperialistic modes are more unlike than like Jesus’ manner of exercising power.” Anything that causes the Faithful to look away from God is contrary to their best interests.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7), includes an economic dimension, the literal sense of the unforgiving servant. The economic dimension does not deny symbolizing forgiveness of sins. In the broader sense, the Faithful are not only to extend mercy to themselves, but also to outsiders. Mark Allan Powell explains, “Virtue lies rather in the commitment to God’s rule that causes one to renounce ambitions to be regarded as great in worldly terms and to pursue a course that may cause one to be numbered instead among the weak and vulnerable people of the world (cp. [compare] Matt 18:25-28).” In religious terms, if one finds oneself presumed between a Monsignor or a Vicar of the Clergy and their ecclesiastical ambition to be bishop; or between a bishop and his ambition to be an archbishop, the situation is not pleasant.
Anything that causes the Faithful to look away from God as the ultimate source of pain is a false anesthetic, the focus of attention here. Pain permitted by God works toward the good of the Faithful. The Faithful imposing pain either on one another or on outsiders takes away something that belongs only to God. Remembering the antiphon, The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion (Psalm 103:8) is the balm to use when tempted to anger and hatred.
For more on sources see the Appendix file. Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes
 International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by Authority of Pope Paul IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: Approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 40, 226.
 The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and Published by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum: Approved for use in the dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See: Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy: a Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1983) 60, 296.
 Sue Gillingham, “From Liturgy to Prophecy: The Use of Psalmody in Second Temple Judaism,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 3 (July 2002) 471.
 John Kloppenborg, “An Analysis of the Pre-Pauline Formula 1 Cor 15:3b-5 In Light of Some Recent Literature,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 3 (July 1978) 361.
 Dennis Hamm, S.J., “The Tamid Service in Luke-Acts: The Cultic Background behind Luke’s Theology of Worship (Luke 1:5-25; 18:9-14; 24:50-53; Acts 3:1; 10:3, 30),” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 2 (April 2003) 220.
 Mary Ann Beavis, “Parable and Fable,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 52, No 3 (July 1990) 483, 494.
 Barbara E. Reid, O.P., “Violent Endings in Matthew’s Parables and Christian Nonviolence,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 2 (April 2004) 253-254.