“With her husband disabled and out of work and her child in mortal danger, a mother must leave her family and find work so they can all survive. The husband’s name is Joseph. The child’s name is Jesus. The working mother is Mary.”
On the Sunday after Christmas, Catholics around the world celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. At Mass we hear Bible passages about Mary and Joseph’s wonder at the prophecies of Simeon and Anna or the story of their frightening midnight flight into Egypt. But amidst all the extraordinary drama they faced in Jesus’s early life, it’s easy to forget that the Holy Family had to face ordinary trials too.
“Working Mother,” a short story by Erin McCole Cupp, imagines how the Holy Family might have responded to another challenge. While in Egypt, Joseph becomes injured and disabled, and with no family nearby to help, Mary must find work outside her home to support the family financially.
In just a few short pages, the author explores Joseph’s inner struggle to accept the Christ Child as his own son, Mary’s acceptance of God’s plan despite not knowing all of its details, and Jesus’s complete trust in and dependence on his earthly parents.
This story is a very poignant reminder of the Holy Family’s humanity and I highly recommend it. I only wish it was a novel instead of short fiction!
“Working Mother” is available for $0.99 at the Kindle store and can be previewed by a short trailer here.
Thank you to the author for the complimentary copy provided in exchange for this review.