And having sent the people away, he went up the mountain by himself, to pray. At nightfall, he was there alone.
Meanwhile, the boat was very far from land, dangerously rocked by the waves, for the wind was against it. At
daybreak, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. When they saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified,
thinking that it was a ghost. And they cried out in fear. But at once, Jesus said to them, “Courage! Don’t be afraid.
It’s me!” Peter answered, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said to him, “Come!”
And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water to go to Jesus. But seeing the strong wind, he was afraid,
and began to sink; and he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and took hold of him,
saying, “Man of little faith, why did you doubt?”
As they got into the boat, the wind dropped. Then those in the boat bowed down before Jesus, saying, “Truly, you are
the Son of God!” They came ashore at Gennesaret. The local people recognized Jesus and spread the news throughout
the region. So they brought to him all the sick people, begging him to let them touch just the hem of his cloak. All who
touched it became perfectly well.
Was Peter foolish to have ventured into the waters, while Jesus was anyway coming towards the boat? Weren’t the
other disciples more prudent, practical, and sensible? The only answers I can think of are what St. Paul spoke of the
foolishness of the cross vs the wisdom of the world (cf. 1 Cor 1:18; 3:19) and the holy madness of the lover who is out
there searching for the beloved in the Song of Songs. Despite all his shortcomings, there is no denying that Peter loved
the Lord. And when love comes alive and the heart goes out to the Beloved, can the body hold back? Such an adventure
sets Peter up for a unique experience with the Lord, an experience that was denied to the other disciples due to their “safety-first”
approach. And Peter would jump out of the boat again, this time with no doubts or care for drowning, when the Risen Lord comes
visiting (cf. Jn 21:7).
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