Commentary on the Gospel of
Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest
Today’s gospel has an important lesson for us. Jesus told the disciples to go ahead in the boat while he dispersed the rest of the people, and then to catch up with them he walked across the water! The disciples were surprised at this, as you would be, and questioned what they were seeing. But Peter said, “Lord, bid me to come.” And the Lord said, “Come.” And Peter did! He stepped out of the boat and walked on the water. Just like that was a possible thing. Until he realized what he was doing. I imagine this sort of like when Wile E. Coyote steps off the cliff, but doesn’t start falling until he realizes where he is. When Peter realizes where he is – walking on water—he starts falling and calls on Jesus to save him. Jesus does, and helps him back into the boat.
But he was doing it. If he could have just done it, and believed it was possible, he could have kept doing it. But then he thought about the impossibility of walking on water, and he started to sink. Jesus said, “Why did you doubt?” If Peter had faith, had believed he could do it, he could do it. He did it. Until he doubted himself and his actions. The disciples recognized Jesus through that miracle, but Jesus is trying to show them that they too are capable of miracles if they only believe they are. If walking on water is a miracle that only Jesus can do, then how can Peter do it? Jesus is recognized by his healing abilities, but he later tells the disciples to go and heal in his name. He also tells them that they have the power to forgive sins, a very godlike attribute.
What could we do if only believed we could? What miracles could we do if we had faith? Peter stepped out of a boat and walked on the water. Jesus tells us to be like him and to believe. If we have faith and believe in ourselves, we can do anything