The sea symbolizes this life and the instability of the visible world; the storm points to every kind of trial or difficulty that oppresses human beings. The boat, instead, represents the Church, built by Christ and steered by the Apostles. Jesus wanted to teach the disciples to bear life’s adversities courageously, trusting in God, in the One who revealed himself to the Prophet Elijah on Mount Horeb “in a still small voice” the whispering of a gentle breeze (I Kings 19:12). The passage then continues with the action of the Apostle Peter. . .“But when he saw the wind was strong, Peter was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord save me!” (Mt 14:30) . . . The great thinker Roman Guardini wrote that the Lord “is always close, being at the root of our being. Yet we must experience our relationship with God between the poles of distance and closeness. By closeness we are strengthened, by distance we are put to the test.” Dear friends, the experience of the Prophet Elijah who heard God passing and the troubled faith of the Apostle Peter enable us to understand that even before we seek the Lord or invoke him, it is he himself who comes to meet us, who lowers heaven to stretch out his hand to us and raise us to his heights; all he expects of us is that we trust totally in him, that we really take hold of his hand.
– Pope Benedict XVI