Solemn Vespers of Corpus Christi, celebrated at Corpus Christi Seminary, Carlton, on Sunday 7 June 2015

Dear Brother Priests and Seminarians,

Today’s great feast is a sharing in Christ himself, remembering his suffering, being filled with his grace, and knowing that Christ has pledged his glory for us.

Saint Thomas Aquinas composed the whole Mass and Office of Corpus Christi so that we would realise and contemplate the mystery of Christ in the Eucharist.

The Reading from Saint Mark in this morning’s Mass highlights that Jesus was going to his passion. This is the reason why we have a distinct feast of Corpus Christi, so that the celebration of the Eucharist, our contemplation and our work are brought together in such a way that the Eucharist will be the force by which we undertake our studies and our ministry.

Every time we celebrate the Eucharist let us be drawn into the mystery. Every day when we pray before the Blessed Sacrament let us ask that the Lord will fill us with his grace in mind and heart. Every day when we go to our work let us remember the words of Saint Teresa of Avila: “Christ has no body now but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. You are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion looks out on the world.”

The spirit of Corpus Christi priests has always been three-fold: to be drawn by the mystery of the Eucharist; to be true contemplatives in the midst of the world; and thirdly in our engagement with our people, our visiting them in their homes, our walking with them and pointing always to Christ so that they will find Christ’s compassion in all that we think and say and do.

Seminarians, that is why your pastoral placement in which you bring those three things together is so important. Fathers, thank you for being available and ready and given that our people may have life. May Jesus live in our hearts forever.

+ Denis J. Hart,
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