I find Peter’s haste to reach Jesus in today’s Gospel incredibly endearing. It seems innocent—like the squeals of a child as their parent comes home from work, or the energetic barks of a puppy as their owner’s car comes around the corner. The disciples’ boat was merely 100 yards from the shore but Peter couldn’t wait that long. He jumps into the water, fully clothed, and rushes toward Jesus. But, as we read today’s gospel, we know Peter is far from innocent. It was just one week ago that he denied Jesus three times. Yet doesn’t that make his haste all the more endearing? Peter knows he failed but out of that his haste emerges. It’s a paradox: we don’t understand the beauty of God’s forgiveness and grace until we are desperate for it. But Jesus always waits for us. May we, too, jump in the water with haste.
—Sarah Otto received her M.Div from Boston College. She currently serves as director of the Newman Catholic Center in Chico, CA.