What anxiety and fear the women at the tomb experienced because they did not remember what Jesus told them! Today there are god-fearing people who are fearful of death because they have not remembered the Lord's promise, If we have been united with Christ in Baptism "we shall certainly be united in a resurrection like his."
Scripture teaches that we are justified before God, through faith in Christ, when we believe that our sins are forgiven for Christ's sake. Now if the Mass takes away the sins of the living and the dead simply by performing it, justification comes by doing Masses, and not of faith. Scripture does not allow this.
But Christ commands us, "Do this in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19). Therefore, the Mass was instituted so that those who use the Sacrament should remember, in faith, the benefits they receive through Christ and how their anxious consciences are cheered and comforted. To remember Christ is to remember His benefits. It means to realize that they are truly offered to us. It is not enough only to remember history. (The ungodly also remember this.) Therefore, the Mass is to be used for administering the Sacrament to those that need consolation. Ambrose says, "Because I always sin, I always need to take the medicine."
Because the Mass is for the purpose of giving the Sacrament, we have Communion every holy day, and if anyone desires the Sacrament, we also offer it on other days, when it is given to all who ask for it. This custom is not new in the Church. The Fathers before Gregory make no mention of any private Mass, but they speak a lot about the common Mass, ‹Communion›. (paragraphs 28-35)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.