Rambling for the 5th Sunday of Lent (A)

It’s hard to believe that my Mom would cheat on my Dad, but the guy who delivered the mail when we were young was named something like Lars Halvorson.  So why the suspicion?  The various companies who specialize in DNA analysis say you might be surprised what your genetic profile shows, in my case they scored a shocker.  My DNA went to a reputable company with a high rating for accuracy.  I really thought it a waste of time and money since one grandmother’s family was from County Wicklow in Ireland and grandpa’s family was from England originally.  The Polish side was from, well, Poland.  There could be no new information; my siblings and I were 50% Polish, 25% Irish and 25% English.  In other words the standard American ethnic mutt.

The genetic analysis, however, showed 39% English/Irish ancestry, 30% Eastern European (Polish we assume), 20% SCANDINAVIAN roots and 11% ITALIAN.  We were more screwed up than we thought.  I’m not necessarily saying the Mr. Halvorson delivered more than the mail to the house, but you have to wonder; and the 11% Italian?  This explains my facility with the Latin and Italian languages but where did that bloodline sneak in?  There is no one in the family that looks even remotely Mediterranean (though, come to think on it, we all enjoyed the spaghetti and meatballs frozen Swanson dinners growing up).  Maybe Mrs. Halvorson’s maiden name was Pacelli?  It’s going to take time to adjust to the reality of a new insalata mista of ethnic origins.

Lazarus and the people in the Gospel of this Sunday also faced a new reality: the calling forth from death to life.  Jesus, in one translation of the Bible, is “perturbed” at the death of his friend Lazarus and begins to weep with Mary, Lazarus’ sister.  Jesus, as Christ and Savior, then calls Lazarus to life and to come out of the tomb.  Lazarus is bound hand and foot with the burial clothes and Jesus orders that they untie him.  This is perhaps the most anticlimactic moment in all of Scripture; Jesus has just unbound Lazarus from the chains of death and then orders the others to unbind the burial knots.  He, the Lord, has already done the heavy lifting, so to speak.  As Jesus walked from the tomb that Easter morning, so too will He call us forth one day, unbinding us from the chains of death.

Right now I have a yen for gravlax washed down with a wee dram of grappa.

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