I have conducted many funerals throughout my ministry, and in some of the funerals, a family member of the deceased or in some cases, even a close friend, may come forward after the end of the funeral Mass or service, to say a few words. Quite often, the person saying a few words would talk about the good things the deceased had done, or how wonderful he or she was, or some other positive statements about the deceased. While such gracious or kind words are being uttered, I sometimes wonder... what sort of words or statements would I like to be remembered by, when the time comes? How would I like others to think of me?
In today's reading, we come across plenty of praises and nice words about king David. Such praises and nice words seem to sound like an eulogy or at the very least to pay tribute and to honour king David. Even though king David had sinned by committing adultery and then committing murder on Uriah to try and hide his misdeeds, king David was still humble, contrite and repentant, and with the Lord's forgiveness and help, he rose to great heights. On the other hand, we come across king Herod in the Gospel, who is portrayed as being a weak king, egoistic, proud, and easily duped into having John the Baptist beheaded merely for the price of seeing the daughter of Herodias dance.
King David left a legacy behind and people had plenty of praises towards him. King Herod, on the other hand, only left behind scorn and ridicule, for having chosen to remain unrepentent and proud. Would we end up like king David, being remembered fondly with plenty of praises? Or would we end up like king Herod instead?