The Korean martyr thought it was a contradiction to be a baptized Christian and not practice the faith.
St. Andrew Kim Taegon led an inspirational life, eventually dying for his Catholic faith. His martyrdom became a seed for Christians in Korea and remains a powerful witness for Catholics around the world.
In particular, he gave an final exhortation, featured in the Church’s Office of Readings, that challenges us to practice our faith.
Thanks to God, we have come into this world. Also thanks to God, we have received baptism, we have entered the Church, and we have received the glorious name of disciples of the Lord. But what use would that name be if it did not correspond to reality? If it does not, then it is in vain that we have come into the world and entered into the Church. Moreover, such a state of affairs would not serve the Lord and his grace. It would be better for us never to have been born than to receive the grace of the Lord and then sin against him.
For St. Andrew, Christians must practice their faith and not simply profess it in name only. We are called by God to respond to his grace throughout our lives and to be a light in the world.
St. Andrew further explains his feelings about the practice of the faith by using an analogy.
The Earth is his field; we men are his seed; his manure is grace. By the Incarnation and the Redemption he waters us with his blood so that we can grow and ripen. When the time for harvest comes at the Day of Judgment, if by his grace we are found to be ripe, we shall know the joy of the kingdom as the adoptive children of God. But if we are found to be unripe, we shall have become enemies of God instead of the adoptive sons we were, and we shall receive the eternal punishment we deserve.
As we consider our own lives, may we look to St. Andrew Kim Taegon for inspiration, recognizing his courage in openly practicing the faith that he preached.