The woman, although she receives Jesus' praise in silence, must have been shocked to hear her big moment made into a simple almsdeed
, to hear him say that being Israel's anointed means being dead and buried, not powerful and effective.
He had faith, this man whose prayers and almsdeeds
were able to please [God] and by his good deeds he earned the right to know God perfectly and to believe in the mystery of the incarnation of his Only-begotten, so that he might approach the sacrament of baptism.
Virtuous actions must be deliberately chosen for their own sakes (see the Commentary on Book II, 3 of the Nicomachean Ethics); this is why almsdeeds
motivated by vainglory, e.g., are sinful rather than virtuous (1-2, q.