To Jesus Christ, Our Sovereign King

Frequently at the end of Mass (whether English weekend Masses or daily Mass), we have been singing the hymn, “To Jesus Christ, Our Sovereign King.” The words of the first verse being:

To Jesus Christ, our Sov’reign King,
Who is the world’s salvation,
All praise and homage do we bring,
And thanks and adoration.
Refrain: Christ Jesus Victor, Christ Jesus Ruler!
Christ Jesus, Lord and Redeemer!

Originally my plan was to close with a different hymn each month, but I’ve been inspired to stay with this hymn for a time.

This hymn was written by Fr. Martin Hellriegel, a German-American priest in St. Louis. He had been born in Germany and immigrated to the United States as a child. He wrote this hymn in 1941 in direct response to the distressing things that he saw going on in his homeland now under the Nazi regime. He wrote it to remind people of where our true loyalties lie, and who actually is Victor, Ruler, and Lord. He wrote it to remind people that when the world starts to get really dark (as they did in Nazi Germany), who is the real King, the true power that we need to look to; that in the end, Christ reigns.

Now, thankfully, Nazi Germany and World War II are a ways behind us. However, in this year of 2020: with global pandemic; with the disturbing video of the death of George Floyd; with protests and riots; with an election year; with polarizing opinions; in a world that seems more and more filled with bitterness and vicious rhetoric, rather than civic dialogue; in a time when everyone and everything seems suspect, where suspicion seems to reign…in this time of 2020 I think we need to be reminded again and again who is King. Where does my true devotion and loyalty lie, before any other relationship, affiliation, political party, or faction?

To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King

And with all the media’s and world’s hype around this presidential election…the rhetoric that one candidate may be the very one to save our country, nation, and world, and the other will bring about a disastrous end….it’s worth remembering than neither presidential candidate is (or ever will be), the Savior of the world.

To Jesus Christ our Sovereign King who is the world’s salvation…

At the end of the day, elections will happen; there will be good things and bad things that happen under that president – some efforts our faith will call us to support, others our faith will call us to resist; and life and the world will go on. Presidents come and go, but Jesus reigns eternally, and it is to Him that we look to that “…all praise and homage do we bring, and thanks and adoration…” So come global pandemic, good or bad presidents or policies, come injustice and riots, Jesus Christ is Our Sovereign King and He and He alone is the world’s Salvation. Only he can rescue and redeem the mess of this world! And thus it’s only in Him I put all my hope…

Christ Jesus Victor! Christ Jesus Ruler! Christ Jesus Lord and Redeemer

-Fr. Kevin