Christ's washing of the feet of the apostles, a prelude to the Last Supper, contributes to the theme of this kontakion by presenting an opportunity to contrast the reactions of Peter and of Judas to the Savior's offer of grace. This episode (5-11) contains the only dramatic action of the work: Peter and Christ debate and, on behalf of the fiery spirits . . . , the invisible choirs of angels, the Archangel Gabriel expresses his astonishment at the divine "Potter's" willingness to humble himself to redeem clay-created mortals (7-5-8.9).
I. Even while the outlaw's feet were being washed
in his Master's hands, Judas, like a thief,
secretly honed his treacherous tongue.
From this depth of inhumanity, Christ our Lord,
rescue us, as we chant in the basilica of the Mother of God: 5"Mercy, be merciful to us, O Lord,
in your mercy, ever forbearing, never despairing."
3: Ps. 63:3, Ps. 139:4 L
II. Heavenly Father, you are loving and compassionate.
Mercy, be merciful to us, O Lord,
in your mercy, ever forbearing, never despairing.
I. Who could hear and not grow numb? Who could watch and not
Jesus kissed treacherously;
Christ sold greedily; God seized willingly.
What land could bear the outrage,
what ocean witness and endure the sacrilege? 5