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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, Sept. 8, 2013

By Jean Denton
Catholic News Service

September 8, Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle C. Readings:

1) Wisdom 9:13-18b

Psalm 90:3-6, 12-17

2) Philemon 9-10, 12-17

Gospel: Luke 14:25-33

Philip Hamrick is a gifted singer-songwriter. Several years ago, his band had developed to a point where it had a good chance of succeeding in the competitive music industry. Its strong musicianship, tight vocal harmonies and thoughtful lyrics were delighting a growing audience. The group believed the time was ripe to begin the work necessary to take their music to the next level on tour.

The band was ready. But Phil was not.

No one loved the band more than Phil. His tunes and lyrics were the heart of the music. But he'd just gotten married and felt a responsibility to his new wife. He'd also been offered a stable job leading a fledgling music ministry in a growing church.

He tried to explain to his disappointed bandmates, "If it is meant to be, the music will get there. It will happen. I trust God. Right now, I have to think about other things, and this ministry is something I have to do."

Phil understood what this weekend's Scripture from Wisdom points out: Our "mortal" deliberations are uncertain at best and "what is within our grasp we find with difficulty," but the wisdom given by the Holy Spirit guides us along a straight path.

Phil had always been open about how his faith guided his life. His band members respected him and accepted his decision.

Their desire was based on an unsure chance of success. Phil's decision was based on his certain faith that the Holy Spirit showed him God's desire.

The band scattered, but the members kept a close friendship. In maturing, the others each have looked to Phil as a role model, largely because of his commitment to a life guided by Christ's Spirit. Most remain professional musicians; some, dedicated Christians. All are successful, compassionate people.

Phil now directs more than 50 musicians in leading thousands of Christians in worship. He writes music that enriches their prayer. He writes other music that he categorizes as outside the "Christian music" genre. But it all carries the Gospel message that inspires him.

Philip Hamrick isn't on the charts, but he continues to take his counsel from the Holy Spirit. As for his music, wherever it is meant to be, trust God it is there.


What are some choices you currently face with uncertainty? What earthly attachments keep you from seeking the counsel of the Holy Spirit for these situations?


"Who ever knew your counsel, except you had given wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high? And thus were the paths of those on earth made straight." -- Wisdom 9:17-18


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