TOWARDS THE DAY OF THE LORD
It is easy for the convulsive rhythms and the frantic deadlines of life to make us organise our time without reference to the Lord. Even Jesus, in the desert, was tempted by the devil who wanted to distract Him from the Father and from his mission. With the Word of God, Jesus takes over the devil. The Word of God announced every evening descends upon the disciples because, by gazing at the face of Jesus, they can imitate him in their lives. The weekly rhythm, taken as a measure of time in the common Prayer of the Community of Sant'Egidio, manifests more clearly, in the convulsive life of the contemporary city, the orientation towards the Lord's day.
Therefore Sunday becomes the climax in the life of the Community! The disciples meet the Risen Lord. It is the day of Emmaus; after listening to the Word of God, the breaking of the bread is celebrated and "The eyes of the disciples are opened and they recognise him". It is the weekly Easter, which announces the eternal one when God will prevail over evil and death for good.
On Monday the week's work begins. Again the Lord's face no longer has the features of the Risen Saviour, but those of the poor, the weak, the sick and the suffering. The evening prayer remembers the poor, those encountered during the day and those far off, sometimes whole nations that suffer, and all are presented to the Lord so that he will console them and free them from evil.
Mary, the Mother of God and first among believers, accompanies the Community in the Tuesday prayer so that everyone learns from her "to keep in the heart ( Luke: 2;51 ) what he has heard and to thank the Lord because he has looked upon us poor men and women. The truth of the Lord's words: " What is impossible with men is possible with God" has become a daily experience for the Community..
The following day, Wednesday, the Communities of Sant'Egidio scattered throughout the world pray for one another and for the whole Church. Everyone prays, in the profound, outreaching and joyful communion that the Lord bestows on his children; prayer embraces the saints, invoked by name, so that they accompany all the communities along the roads of the world.
On Thursday all the Churches, both of the East and the West are remembered so that communion among believers in Christ may increase and the preaching of the Gospel reaches the ends of the earth. The Lord, only pastor of his Church, bestows upon all his infinite love from which pastoral action and commitment to announcing the Gospel spring.
On Fridays the Community focuses on the "Memory of the Cross", so that everyone may remember the origin of salvation and not forget how great the love of God for humankind has been. The link between the beatitudes and the story of the passion leads us to contemplate the infinite "wealth" of the cross, which is the proclamation both of the death of self-love and of the victory of love for others.
Then comes Saturday, day of vigil and preparation for the Lord's resurrection. It is the wait of Lazarus before the tomb to be unbound. In him is heard the cry for help which rises from every part of the earth to be presented to the Lord imploring him to take away the heavy stone that oppressed life, the life of us all, freed from the bonds of sin and saved by God's mercy.
Thus the week closes no longer in a casual or chaotic manner. The days guided by prayer are oriented towards the day that knows no sunset, when, together with the angels, the disciples will sing the Trisagion, which concludes the " Prayer of Light " of Sunday evening.
The "Prayer of the Holy Spirit" reminds the Community to open its heart to the breath of God so as to fight the spirits of evil and increase the works of mercy upon earth. The
Memory of the Apostles and their task of announcing the Gospel, sustains and encourages the commitment of the Community to follow the first witnesses of faith to the end of the earth. The icons, present in every church of the Community, introduce us to the riches of the spiritual tradition of the Eastern Church and help us to direct the eyes of our hearts towards the Lord and to place all our trust in Him.