Unfortunately, you can't buy world peace at Target.

Usually, it's the Baby Jesus who disappears from the manger scene, going on walkabout.But I know of a recent case (names suppressed to protect the innocent) where it was the virgin Mary. What happened? The explanatory converation went something like this:Adult:"I noticed that Mary's not in the manger right now. Do you know where she is?'"Six-year-old girl: 'Yes. She's left the baby with Joseph and is going shopping with the shepherds and the Groovy Girls to buy Christmas presents for her family. What do you think the baby Jesus would like?''

Cathleen Kaveny is the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor in the Theology Department and Law School at Boston College.

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