If you have children, you know that they are not very good at hiding their emotions, especially when they are very young. This is particularly true when it comes to food. Generally, when you present food to a young child, you get an immediate and expressive indication of whether they like it. If it tastes good, they smile and say, “yum,” and eagerly take the next bite. If they don’t like it, their faces twist into impossible contortions, they scream “yuk” and shove the food away. Try getting them to take another bite!In today’s responsorial psalm we sing, “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.” The psalmist has experienced God’s goodness, and he wants others to have the same experience. He’s convinced that if they take that first taste, they will be delighted with God’s goodness. In my family, among our children, there is an aversion to anything green. If I offer them green vegetables, they reject the notion out of hand. “I don’t like it,” they will say. If we try to serve them something like, say pasta, with green vegetables in it, they shout “green stuff,” and act as if we’d tried to poison them. In fact, a local restaurant offers an item on its children’s menu called “cheese pizza with no green stuff.” There are all kinds of people who seem to know that they “don’t like” God, even though they’ve never taken a taste.We always ask the kids how they know they don’t like something if they’ve never tried it. They just know.Taste and see the goodness of the Lord. There are all kinds of people who seem to know that they “don’t like” God, even though they’ve never taken a taste.And why would they, if they see God depicted as harsh, judgmental and ignorant or unsympathetic toward “today’s” morals and values, and Christians depicted as all of that plus an added dose of mean-spiritedness? Who would want to taste that?In today’s Gospel reading Jesus tells his followers that he is the “living bread” and “whoever eats this bread will live forever.” You and I have the privilege of being able to taste and see the goodness of the Lord each time we eat this bread at the Eucharistic table, not to mention whenever we pray, serve and love others as we love ourselves. How can others experience that God is much different than they may have been led to believe? One way others can get a taste of the goodness of God is to experience the Body of Christ through its members — the individuals and communities that are actually living in a way that demonstrates the love, compassion, generosity and joy of God. Bill Peatman writes from Napa. He may be reached at [email protected]