Commentary on the Gospel of Sunday, 9th August (Mt. 14:22-33) with Augustinian inspiration.
Walking on the furious waves symbolized, for St. Augustine, to trample on the heads of the proud, and similarly the Church trampled on them, since Peter is the Church. But he did not dare to walk on the waters by himself. What does he say? Lord, if it is you, command me to walk on the waters. Jesus was walking o the waters by his own power; Peter by the command of the Lord. He says: Command me to go to you. Jesus answers: “Come.” Thus, also the Church tramples on the heads of the proud. But, as Peter personified the Church, he carries in his person the human weakness. In order that something be fulfilled: when it seemed that I would stumble… he wavered on the sea, and exclaimed: Lord, save me, I am sinking! Then what the Psalm said was fulfilled: “Your mercy, Lord, sustains me.” As the Gospel says: And Jesus extends his hand, saying: “Man of little faith, why did you doubt?” It is amazing how God tests men. Our own dangers make us more attractive to the one who saves us.” (en. Ps. 93:22)
In another text, St. Augustine again comments on this Gospel passage with another detail: “As human praise does not tempt the Lord, but men, on the other hand, are shaken in the Church by human praise and honors to the point of almost sinking, thus Peter wavered on the sea, knocked down by the violence of the storm. For, who does not fear the words: Those who call you successful induce you to error and confuse the pathways for your feet? And since the spirit fights against the desire for human praise, it will be good that, when in such danger, one have recourse to prayer and supplication, lest the captive of praise drag him away and reproach submerge him. Shout, Peter, you who waver in the waves and say: Lord, save me. The Lord stretches out his hand, and though in tone of reproach, say to him: (Man ) of little faith, why did you doubt? Why did you not glory only in the Savior, fixing your eyes only on him to whom you direct your steps? Nevertheless, he takes him out of the waves and does not allow him to perish someone who confesses his weakness and seeks his help. Once the Lord was received into the boat, faith was confirmed, all wavering eliminated, and the tempests of the sea calmed down, to direct themselves to the land stable and secure, and all adore him saying: Truly, you are the Son of God. This is eternal happiness, to acquire which one knows and loves Truth in all clarity, the Word of God and the Wisdom by whom all things were created and his sublime mercy” (en. Ps. 75, 10).