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New Scripture commentary looks at Eucharist

Cliff Yeary, with Little Rock Scripture Study, writes commentary on Eucharist

Published: December 17, 2014   

Catholics are not just called, they are welcomed, to the most important feast of their lives — the Eucharist — at every Mass.

For Cliff Yeary, an associate director of Little Rock Scripture Study, it is this very truth that God provides nourishment in both word and feast in the Eucharist that became an inspiration for his commentary, “Welcome to the Feast: The Story of the Eucharist in Scripture,” part of the Little Rock Scripture Study set on the Eucharist. “The Eucharist in Scripture” study guide was written by director Cackie Upchurch.

“God is calling us into a relationship with him and one of the perennial, eternal if you will, signs of a relationship filled with that kind of great joy that God calls us to is almost always displayed with a feast,” Yeary said. “Our very life depends on food. Then it becomes a source of eternal life within the Eucharist.”

The 87-page commentary took about a year to write, with about two-thirds of that time devoted to research, Yeary said. It is the second commentary for Yeary for Little Rock Scripture Study, following 2010’s “Pilgrim People” about people’s pilgrimage with God throughout time.

“We’ve known we wanted a study focused on the Eucharist and Scripture. We had a very scholarly commentary that is out of print now by Abbott Jerome Kodell, OSB, one of the founders of Little Rock Scripture Study,” Yeary said.

Because Abbot Kodell could not devote the time to a new commentary, Yeary took on the task.

“I love to write, but it’s extremely hard. The pressure is something I don’t really enjoy, but I enjoy having it done,” Yeary said.

The commentary studies notable feasts with God throughout the Old and New Testaments, including the Passover, some of Isaiah prophesies that are sheer poetry, as well as the Wedding at Cana and the Last Supper.

“I start by looking at the hospitality of Abraham (Genesis 18:1-15) where the three divine visitors meet him and Sarah and stay to have their feet washed,” and understanding God’s hospitality in joining him, Yeary explained. “(One of the visitors) informs Abraham, he will come again in a year’s time, Sarah will bear the promised child. That promised seed is linked directly with Jesus himself as the Messiah.”

Yeary said the Eucharist was an important part of his conversion to Catholicism in 1975.

“I dedicated this (the commentary) to a now deceased priest,” who led him on his journey to the faith, Father Robert Dabrowski, Yeary said. “The Eucharist just remains and grows as the very center of my faith where we as people encounter Christ ourselves.”

Little Rock Scripture Study’s “The Eucharist in Scripture” study set is available for $15 on the LRSS website, Yeary’s commentary is also available separately for $9.95 from Liturgical Press.

“It brings together everything I love about being Catholic,” Yeary said about this study. “In every celebration of the Eucharist, I hear the word of God and I receive the body and blood of the Lord in the Eucharist.”

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