What greater pity?
From Augustine’s third Lenten sermon:
Eleemosyna, our word for alms, is Greek for “mercy” or “pity.” What greater pity could be shown to the piteous than the mercy that brought the creator of heaven down from heaven and clothed the maker of earth with an earthly body, that made him who was equal to the Father in eternity equal to us in mortality, that lay the form of a slave on the Lord of the world, so that bread hungered, fullness thirsted, strength became weak, health was wounded, and life died? And all this so that our hunger would be fed, our dryness watered, our weakness comforted, our wickedness extinguished, our charity set afire. What greater mercy than that the creator be created, the Lord serve, the redeemer be sold, the one who raises be lowered, the one who revives be killed? We are commanded to give alms, to give bread to the hungry (see Is 58:7); he, in order to give himself to us in our hunger, first handed himself over for us to those who raged against him. We are enjoined to receive strangers; he for our sake came to his own and his own did not receive him (Jn 1:11). So let our soul bless him who forgives all its iniquities, who heals all its diseases, who redeems its life from destruction, who crowns it with mercy and compassion, who satisfies its desires with good things (see Ps 102:3-5). Let us, then, continue at our works of mercy all the more eagerly and all the more constantly the closer comes the day on which the mercy shown to us is celebrated. A fast without mercy is useless to the one who fasts. (Augustine, Sermon 207, 1: PL 38, 1043)