By: Michele L. Rich
Carina shoved her Easter basket into her closet, taking one last glance at the jelly beans and chocolate bunny that awaited her.
“Come on Carina, let’s go,” her mom called.
She pulled her new rosary from her Easter basket. She couldn’t believe she had to go to Mass today. Carina looked out of her bedroom window and saw Sara and Nate’s parents hiding eggs. She missed the egg hunt every year. She sighed and slipped the rosary into her sweater pocket.
As the car pulled away, Carina saw Sara and Nate racing across their yard, finding colorful candy-filled eggs and dropping them into their baskets. They waved at her, and she crossed her arms.
“Carina, what’s wrong?” Her mom asked.
“Why do we always have to go to Mass on Easter morning? I want to hunt eggs with Nate and Sara,” She protested.
“We’ve been over this, Carina. Easter is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We honor Him by going to Mass today.”
Carina knew she should want to attend Mass, especially since her class would soon celebrate the sacrament of First Communion. But Father Rios’ homilies were so long, and kneeling while everyone else took communion made her knees tired.
Carina dragged her feet across St. Anne’s parking lot, making lines in the gravel. Her mom nudged her as they entered Church.
They sat beside Maria, her friend from Religious Education. Maria held up her rosary beads. “Look what I got this morning,” she whispered.
Carina had almost forgotten about her new rosary beads. She took her rosary from her sweater pocket and knelt beside her mom. She looked around at everyone else praying their rosaries, including Maria. Carina bowed her head and clutched it tightly in her hand. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her mom holding the rosary she got the year of her own First Communion. Carina began to pray, rubbing her fingers over the smooth beads and focusing on the Sorrowful Mysteries. She worked her way through the rosary, praying and thinking about Jesus’s journey and what he had been through.
When the church bells rang, she crossed herself with everyone else and sat back in her seat. She put her rosary in her pocket, but kept one hand on it throughout the homily. Father Rios talked about the true meaning of Easter. She tried to listen closely this time.
When it came time for communion, Carina knelt and held her rosary. She watched all the families go up for communion together – Moms, Dads, Grandparents, and kids not much older than her. As she ran her fingers over each bead, and concentrated on the sacrifices Jesus had made for her, she realized she was a part of it. She now had her own rosary, and in a few weeks she would take Holy Communion.
After Mass Carina showed Maria her rosary
“Oh, those are pretty!” Maria said. “We are having an Easter egg hunt at my house at 2:00 today. Can you come?”
Carina looked at her mom, who smiled and nodded.
After lunch, Carina ate her chocolate bunny and grabbed her Easter basket, ready for the egg hunt. She slipped her hand in her sweater pocket. The rosary was still in there – cool, pink, full of meaning and wonder. She didn’t think she could ever go anywhere without her rosary, and she knew she would never again forget the true meaning of Easter.