The Common Good

Wisdom from Cesar Chavez: 'The Oppressed Almost Always Overestimate the Oppressor'

Today's Lenten prayer comes from Cesar Chavez (1927-1993) -- Mexican American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist. He did much to raise awareness of the need for justice for those at the margins. After reading this prayer this morning in The Mosaic Bible, I read the psalms for the day, including Psalm 99, which talks about God in these words:

Related Reading

Take Action on This Issue

Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget

A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

Mighty King, lover of justice,
You have established fairness.
You have acted with justice
and righteousness throughout Israel
Exalt the Lord our God!
Bow low before [God's] feet, for [God] is holy! (Psalm 99:4,5)

This was a great place to start my personal reflections on justice this morning. Here are a couple of powerful quotes from Cesar Chavez's writings that highlight this concern. I suggest that you read through these several times reflecting on your own commitment to justice, then read the prayer at the end aloud.

"We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories


Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)