The description of net fishing gives us the visual image that points to the meaning of the parable. To make that image clear, the parable tells us how it works - everything gets swept in and sorted, some things are kept and some things are thrown away. There is also some explaining at the end of the parable (“Thus it will be at the end of the age…”), and a nuance to the parable that drives home the explanation.
In the Harry Potter books and movies, every school year begins with sorting. One by one, each of the students is reviewed by a magical hat, and assigned to a house within the school based on their personality, character, intelligence, etc. There are no exceptions, there are no neutrals. A decision is made, everyone gets sorted.
And so it is with the parable of the net. There are no exceptions, there are no neutrals. A decision is made, everyone gets sorted.
More on Sunday’s Gospel tomorrow.