Firstly, these men were hoping that Jesus was the one who was going to rescue Israel until they felt that it was a dead and buried hope. But Jesus encounter with them made the meaning of life to become clear and the darkness became light. A story teller makes one of his characters say to the one with whom he has fallen in love, “I never knew what life meant until I saw it in your eyes”. It is only on Jesus even in bewildering times, we learn what life means and discover value where others feel hopeless.
We are presented by of the great immortal short stories of the world. A new world created the very day that Christ resurrected from the Dead. How tragic it would have been if these two men who have been with Christ lost their faith on that very day. Cleopas and his friend were actually walking towards the sunset (Emaus was west of Jerusalem). Perhaps the setting sun so dazzled them that they did not know their Lord. Meanwhile, their encounter with the living Lord has a lot to teach us.
After the discussion, Jesus felt like leaving but they invited him to stay with them. God gave to men the greatest and most perilous gift in the world, the gift of freewill. We can use it to invite Jesus into our lives or to allow him to pass on. After every encounter with Jesus in his Church as the host, he requests us to come to his house as our guest. These men invited Jesus and were able to recognize him at an ordinary meal. Therefore not only at the communion table, we can be with Christ but also at the dinner table. They hastened back to Jerusalem to share the good news. Good news becomes fully ours when shared with others. And there in the upper room we the communion of great followership which our blessed Lord cannot afford not to reappear. His appearance to Peter who denied him remains one of the great I told stories of the world. It’s Jesus glory that he can give the penitent dinner back his self respect.