By his action, by his shed blood and broken body, Christ has called us to be his Church. We like to use the language of the Church triumphant, the glorious body with a mission to bring the whole world within its fold and so manifest the Kingdom of God upon this earth. And indeed this is our mission: Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But we must never forget that the glory of this body is one that is only seen by those whose sight has been trained to look upon the cross and see the Lord of glory. As St. Athanasius put it, the more that the Lord is persecuted and humiliated, the more his glory and divinity is manifest…to those that have eyes to see.
And this continues, he affirms, in those who now constitue his body, those who take up the faith of the cross and willingly submit themselves to death, that he might live in them. Such a one was Blandina, the slave girl, the epitome of weakness in the ancient world, who was hung on a stake to be eaten by wild beasts. Spectators in the stands only saw another seemingly misguided fool dying for their entertainment, but those who struggled alongside her in the arena “saw in the form of their sister the one who was crucified for them” Dying, Christ lives in her, so that she now lives eternally.