“We Were Hoping.” Once again the Risen Lord is not recognized by his disciples. The Evangelist even seems to be hinting that the disciples’ lack of faith is the reason why this is so: “Their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.” Christ gets to know his disciples by hearing them out. He quickly discovers the reason why they are so dejected and downcast. Their problem it seems is that they “were hoping” for a different Christ — a more political and temporal Christ. This is a moment to ask ourselves whether we ever hope for a different Christ, a Christ tailored to our own liking or more in accord with our human ambitions.
Christ Explains the Scriptures. Christ sees that the two disciples have no faith to look past the tragedy of his crucifixion and the empty tomb. He gives hope by turning this into an occasion to explain them the Scriptures that refer to him from Moses to the last of the prophets. Christ’s lesson bears fruit in a revival of hope and courage. They are so moved that they do not want the Lord to leave them when they reach the house at Emmaus: “Stay with us
“Were not our hearts burning? It was customary in Jewish tradition for the master of the house to act as the host in the meal and break the bread. However, the mysterious traveller bypasses this custom, rapidly leading the two disciples to the moment of faith where they recognize Christ at the breaking of the bread. Now they see him as the true Lord and Master. From this moment everything changes for these two disciples; no longer dejected, they set at once with the joy and passion of new men and convinced witnesses of the resurrection to inform the Eleven in Jerusalem. Their hearts were indeed burning.
Fr. Maroun El Kazzi