If Jesus were on earth today, would we find Him in the prisons, talking and dining with the most loathed criminals and outcasts? Of course we would. He would be there “to seek and to save the lost!”
We continue to follow Jesus into the prisons as well as into their community to minister to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families. God does not despise the broken; nor should we. Rather, we are to imitate the One who came to seek and to save the lost — as we once were — no matter what type of bonds enslave and cripple them. Jesus identifies strongly with the weak, the helpless, and the outcast. He considers the way we treat them to be the way we treat Him. He wants us to identify with them as well, putting ourselves in their shoes and caring for them. God seeks to set prisoners free—not always from their physical prison, but certainly from their imprisonment by sin, ignorance, rebellion, and foolish choices. Jesus identified Himself as the source of this freedom. As this is an important part of God’s work, it is an important part of the Church’s work as well.