Gospel: Matthew 14:22-36 –
After the crowd had eaten their fill, Jesus obliged his disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the crowd away.
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 lake. 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 walking on the water.”
Jesus said to him, “Come.” And Peter got out of the boat, walking on the water to go to Jesus. But, in face of the strong wind, he was afraid and began to sink. So 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 Gennesareth. The local people recognized Jesus and spread the news throughout the region. So they brought all the sick to him, begging him to let them touch just the fringe of his cloak. All who touched it became perfectly well.
The strange incident of walking on water is full of symbolic meaning. It signified the power over evil and death. For Jews it had all sorts of resonance in the Scriptures: god “trampled the waves of the sea” (Job 9:8); “alone… I have walked in the depths of the abyss (Sir 24:5). It is a hint of his identity with God. Why do we remember all these strange stories? Because there is still evil and death in the world, and storms, and panic, and people whose lives are heading for the rocks. And Jesus is still Lord!
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