|The cross is the tomb which absorbs all human pride:"Come
thus far; I said, and no farther: here your proud waves shall break” (Job
38:11). The waves of human pride break against the rock of Calvary and
they can go no further. The wall God erected against them is too high and
the abyss he dug before them too deep. 'We must realize that our former
selves have been crucified with him to destroy this sinful body' (Rm 6:6).
The body of pride -- for this is the sin par excellence, the sin that gives
rise to all other sins. 'He was bearing our faults in his own body on the
cross' (1 Peter 2:24). He bore our pride in his body.
But what concerns us in all this? Where is the 'gospel', the good and joyful news? It is that Jesus humbled himself also for me, in my place. 'If one man has died for all, then all have died' (2 Co 5:14); one has humbled himself for all, therefore all have humbled themselves. Jesus on the cross is the new Adam obeying for all. He is the head, the beginning of a new mankind. He acts in the name of all and for the benefit of all. As 'by one man's obedience many will be made righteous' (Rom 5:19), by one man's humility, many will be made humble.
Pride, like disobedience, is no longer part of us. It
is part of the Old Adam. It has become old-fashioned. The new thing now
is humility, which is full of hope because it opens up a new existence
based on giving, love and solidarity and no longer on competitiveness,
social climbing and taking advantage of one another. 'The old creation
has gone, and now the new one is here' (2 Co 5:17). Humility is one of
these marvelous new things.
Once we have put on Christ's humility, it will be easier, among other things, to work for Christian unity, for unity and peace naturally follow humility. This is also true in families. Marriage starts with an act of humility. A young man who falls in love and who on his knees, as was once the custom, asks a girl to marry him, makes the most radical act of humility in his life. He begs and it is as if he were saying, 'Give me yourself. Alone, I am not sufficient to myself, I need you!' We could say that God created humankind male and female to help them to be humble, not to be haughty and self-sufficient, and to discover the blessing od depending on someone who loves you. He inscribed humility in our very flesh. But, unfortunately, pride too often takes over again and the person we love has to pay for the initial need we had of him or her. Then a dreadful wall of pride rises between the two partners and their incommunicability extinguishes all joy. This evening, Christian spouses are also invited to place all resentment at the foot of the cross, to be reconciled to one another, embracing each other for the sake of Christ who, on this day on the cross, 'killed the hostility' (Ephes 2:16).