Proverbs 21:1-6,10-13; Psalm 118(119):1,27,30,34-35,44; Luke 8:19-21
This little incident in Luke comes just after Jesus has told the parables of the sower (stony ground, weeds etc.) and the parable of the Lamp (so not hide your light). Do not be mistaken to think that in this incident, Luke is suggesting that his family are outside the crowd, because they do not listen to him or do not follow his word. Indeed, elsewhere, Luke is at pains to show how Mary his Mother did listen to God (her 'Yes', and the Magnificat), Mary is also shown to be with the disciples in Acts 1:14.
What is happening here is that Jesus is pointing out his mother and the rest of his family as exemplars of how we should listen, ponder, and act. The way Jesus says this, opens up to each of us the possibility of joining that happy throng, of those who are in his family - we just have to listen to him.
Todays saints certainly are in that throng. They represent thousands - possibly tens of thousands, of Christians who were persecuted and martyred in Korea over just the 17th Century. And there were no priests their until the 1845!. That was Andrew Kim Taegǒn, a secret priest trained in Macao, who entered Korea in 1845 and was martyred just one year later along with his father, two of 103 Korean martyrs who are celebrated today; Their church was founded exclusively by lay people. "The death of these many martyrs became the leaven of the Church and led to today’s splendid flowering of the Church in Korea. Even today their undying spirit sustains the Christians of the Church of Silence in the north of this tragically divided land.” – Pope John Paul II at the canonization of the Korean Martyrs, May 6, 1984.