I was incredibly touched this week by this Sunday’s Gospel. It’s one that I’ve heard many times before but for some reason it really did something for me. It is the passage about Jesus walking on the water with Peter.
I find St. Peter to be wonderfully complex and I relate to his impulsiveness but also look up to his incredible boldness that I sorely lack. He has the courage to ask God Himself to order him to walk on the water at the very sight of Him. I would probably have been the person on the boat wondering what to do next and too afraid to ask what was really on my mind.
But what really amazed me about the passage this Sunday was not particularly Peter’s boldness, the miraculous walking on the water nor his sudden doubt that Jesus admonished. It was as Peter falls amidst the waves from fear and yells out (automatically) “Lord, save me!” and immediately Jesus catches him and subsequently and rightfully humbles him. It touches me that Jesus immediately catches Peter as he calls out for him.
I have begun to adopt this practice. When some sinful thought or temptation comes that is alluring me and causing me to fall amidst the waves of darkness to cry out, “Lord, save me!” and God’s devotion and immediate help is there catching me, immediately, if I have the faith to ask Him.
22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance[a] from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”