« You are asleep or you are seized by the worries and anxieties of life. I watch and pray for you. I am the Angel of all men and I look after you…»
– Jesus, saving Peter, saving us.
273. Jesus is roused from His meditation. He stands up and looks at the lake. He scans it in the light of the remaining stars and of the poor sickly dawn and sees the boat of Peter, which is striving hard to reach the opposite shore, but cannot make it. Jesus pulls His mantle tight around Himself, lifting over His head, as if it were a hood, the hanging hem, which would hinder His descent, and runs down, not the road He came up, but a very steep path, which takes one straight to the lake. He runs so fast that He seems to be flying.
When He reaches the shore lashed by the waves, which leave on the shingle an edge of fluffy rustling foam, He continues to walk fast, as if He were treading not on a restlessly tossing liquid element, but on the smoothest most solid pavement on the earth.
The apostles see Him and utter a cry of fear, which the wind carries towards Jesus.
« Be not afraid. It is I. » Jesus’ voice, although the wind is against Him, carries clearly over the lake.
« Is it really You, Master? » asks Peter. « If it is You, tell me to come and meet You, walking on the water like You. »
Jesus smiles: « Come » He says simply, as if to indicate that to walk on the water were the most natural thing in the world.
And Peter, half naked as he is, that is wearing only a short sleeveless tunic, jumps overboard and walks towards Jesus.
But when he is about fifty yards from the boat and as many from Jesus, he is seized with fear. So far his love impetus supported him. Now his human nature overwhelms him and… he fears for his own skin. Like one who is on a slippery ground, or better still, on quicksand, he begins to stagger, to grope, to sink. And the more he gropes and fears, the more he sinks.
Jesus has stopped and looks at him. He is serious and waits. But He does not stretch even one hand; His arms are folded and He does not take one step or utter one word.
Peter is sinking. Terror is on his face. Terror paralyses also his thoughts. He is nothing but flesh afraid of sinking. He does not even think of swimming. Nothing. He is hebetated by fear.
At last he decides to look at Jesus. And as soon as he looks at Him, his mind begins to reason. « Master, my Lord, save me. »
Jesus opens His arms and as if He were carried by the wind or by the waves, He rushes towards the apostle and holds out His hand saying: « Oh! what a man of little faith. Why did you doubt Me? Why did you want to do it by yourself? »
Peter who had clutched convulsively at Jesus’ hand, does not reply. He looks at Him only to ascertain whether He is angry, with a mixture of remaining fear and rising repentance.
But Jesus smiles at him and holds him firmly by the wrist, until they reach the boat and step overboard into it. Then Jesus orders: « Go to the shore. He is soaked through. » And He smiles looking at the mortified disciple.
The waves smooth down making it easy to land and the town seen in the past from the height of a hill now looms beyond the shore.
The vision ends here.
« Many times I do not even wait to be called, when I see My children in danger. And many times I rush to help a son who is ungrateful to Me.
You are asleep or you are seized by the worries and anxieties of life. I watch and pray for you. I am the Angel of all men and I look after you and nothing grieves Me more than the impossibility of interference because you refuse My intervention, because you prefer to act on your own, or, worse still, you ask the Evil one to help you. Like a father who hears his son say to him: “I do not love you. I do not want you. Go out of my house”, I am mortified and I suffer more than I did because of My wounds. But if you do not say to Me: “Go away”, and you are absent-minded only because of the worries of life, then I am the Eternal Watchman ready to come even before he is called. And if I wait for you to say a word, as I sometimes do, it is only to hear you call Me.
How pleasant, how sweet it is to hear men call Me. To hear that they remember that I am the “Saviour.” I will not mention the infinite joy that pervades and exalts Me when there is someone who loves Me and calls Me without being in need. He calls Me because he loves Me more than he loves anybody else in the world and is filled with joy, as I am, only by calling: “Jesus, Jesus”, as children call: “Mummy, mummy” and they taste the sweetness of honey on their lips, because the simple word “mummy” has in itself the taste of motherly kisses.
They took Me for a ghost. Oh! how often, My poor children, you take Me for a ghost, for a frightening object! If you always thought of Me, you would know Me at once. But you have other ghosts in your hearts, and that makes you dizzy. But I make Myself known. Oh! if you only listened to Me!
Peter is not only overwhelmed by fear for his endangered life, but, as you said, he becomes nothing but “trembling flesh.” He no longer thinks, he no longer looks at Me. You all do the same. The more impending is the danger, the more you want to do things by yourselves. As if you were able to do things! You never go away from Me, or close your hearts to Me or even curse Me, as in the hours when you ought to hope in Me and call Me. Peter does not curse Me. But he forgets Me and I have to impose My will to call his spirit to Me, so that he may look at his Master and Saviour.
I understand you, My poor children! And even when I say a word of reproach, My smile mitigates it. I love you. That is all. I want you to have faith. And if you do have it, I will come and take you out of danger.