"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68



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Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Commentary of the day
Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian
Commentary on St Matthew's Gospel, 11,6; PG 13,919

"Truly, you are the Son of God."

When we have stood firm during the long watches of the dark night that rules over our time of testing; after we have struggled as best we may..., then let us be assured that towards night's close, “when the night is advanced and the day is at hand” (Rom 13,12), the Son of God will come to us, walking on the waves. When we see him appearing like this, we will be seized with doubt until at last we clearly understand that it is the Lord who has thus come among us. Still thinking we are seeing a ghost, we will cry out in fear, but at once he will say to us: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

It is possible that these reassuring words will cause a Peter aiming at perfection to rise up within us, who will get out of the boat, sure he has escaped the trial that was tossing him about. To begin with, his wish to meet up with Jesus will enable him to walk on the water. But since his faith is still shaky and he himself is unsure, he notices “how strong the wind was”, becomes frightened, and begins to sink. Still, he escapes this misfortune because he directs this great cry towards Jesus: “Lord, save me!” And scarcely has this other Peter finished saying “Lord, save me!” than the Word stretches out his hand to help him. He catches him just as he begins to drown, reproaching him for his little faith and doubt. However, take note that he did not say: “Unbelieving” but “man of little faith”, and that it is written: “Why did you doubt?”, which is to say: “It is true you have a little faith, but you let yourself be pulled in the opposite direction.” And immediately, Jesus and Peter will get into the boat again, the wind will die down, and the others in the boat will do him homage, saying: “Truly, you are the Son of God.” But only those disciples close to Jesus in the boat spoke such words as these.



 
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