But Gracia imagined the burden Christ took on Good Friday while portraying him at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.
“This is my first time,” said the youthful-looking 57-year-old Calexico native about playing Jesus in a dramatization of the events before his crucifixion.
For Gracia, the spiritual impact he felt during the drama was enough to make him reflect on how much one is willing to be like Jesus in times of great moral uncertainty.
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“It’s a question of us knowing him,” Gracia said.
More than 120 people felt they knew Jesus a little better during an annual production of the “The Way of the Cross” in the small Catholic church.
The event that was performed in Spanish for congregants, went on at exactly 3 p.m. and concluded with Jesus carrying the cross around the small church, complete with volunteers playing the roles of Roman soldiers and others.
Rosie Romero, a 15-year Niland resident who coordinated the event, said she and 36 volunteers rehearsed a total of four times during the course of a month.
Romero even had the actors wear costumes that were 10 years old for the production that was well-attended. After the play ended the audience was treated to cups of fruit salad and bottled water.
While the “Passion Play” has been performed for about a decade at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Romero said, the production went through a four-year hiatus.
Putting on the annual event was something the congregants welcomed back with open arms, she said.
“They need these things,” Romero said.
Staff Writer Silvio J. Panta can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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