Jimmy Buffett

Changes in Latitudes


I am really excited because Jimmy Buffett tickets went on sale Friday morning. I had a good friend who waited until the tickets went on sale at 10:00 am; and as the tickets went on sale, she was able to get some tickets for us.

I wanted front row seats because I want to meet Jimmy Buffett.

Here is the reason I want to meet Jimmy Buffett.

He is a little bit of a fallen away Catholic. He is a really good guy, but we kind of need to get him back on track a bit. If you know anyone who works at Blossom and can get me backstage, let me know.

The song I want to use today for the homily is a Jimmy Buffett song called Changes in Latitude.

The reason I want to use it is because the apostles really did change latitude when they experienced the transfiguration. There is a little bit of a difference in what Jimmy Buffett calls a change in latitude and what Jesus is calling a change of latitude.

I will sing a little bit of the song. I will talk about how we can actually change the latitude in our own lives during Lent, and ultimately, how that will allow us to experience the transfiguration for ourselves.

I took off for a weekend last month

Just to try to recall the whole year.

All of the faces and all of the places,

wonderin’ where they all disappeared.

I didn’t ponder the question too long;

I was hungry and ran out for a bite.

Ran into a chum with a bottle of rum,

and we would up drinkin’ all night.


It’s those changes in latitudes,

changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same.

With all of our running and all of our cunning,

If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.

Reading departure signs in some big airport

Reminds me of the places I’ve been.

Visions of good times that brought so much pleasure

Makes me want to go back again.

If it suddenly ended tomorrow,

I could somehow adjust to the fall

Good times and riches and son of a guns,

I’ve seen more than I can recall.

Can you see what Jimmy Buffett has in mind?

Sometimes we think a change in latitude means going somewhere South.

Going somewhere South – either somewhere warm or somewhere South, somewhere bad where we shouldn’t be going, either drinking or something else we shouldn’t be doing.

Sometimes in life, we need a relief, or we are going to go insane. Right?

We need to change our latitude, change our attitude, or we might all go insane.

Lent is really a season to change our latitude. Jesus actually took the disciples up the mountain with him. He changed their latitude physically and transfigured himself right before them. Here they suddenly experienced his true person. They were able to see his glory. They could see him shining like the sun. It was all because they were willing to go up the mountain with him.

Lent is an invitation for all of us to go up to the mountain with him. In this season of Lent, increasing our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving will help us change our spiritual latitude; and then, we can also change our attitude. That is the reality of Lent.

It is supposed to bring about some kind of change in us.

Not so much a change of going somewhere South, going somewhere warm, or going somewhere bad; but to actually change those bad habits in us.

If we change the spiritual latitude in us, then we can often finally experience the transfiguration. It is like having a backstage pass.

Really, Jesus invited those three disciples with him up to the mountain. He invites each and every one of us backstage to see his glory, to see his wonder, and ultimately to see him in a new way this Lent.

It’s these changes in latitudes,

changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same.

With all of our running and all of our cunning,

If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.

If we were all crazy, we would go insane

If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.

About the Author Fr. Michael Denk

Fr. Michael was ordained into priesthood in the Diocese of Cleveland on May 12, 2007. He is dedicated to helping others encounter Christ through the celebration of the Eucharist, preaching, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, spiritual direction, and prayer.

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I'm Father Michael J. Denk, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. I am a contributor of content to The Prodigal Father Productions, Inc., a non-profit corporation functioning in accord with the traditions and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The corporation and I are separate, it doesn't speak for me, the parish, or on behalf of the Diocese of Cleveland, and I do not speak for it.