Many Catholics, thinking of Christ’s response to the Sadducees in Matthew 22:23-33 would probably say “no.” Doesn’t Christ tell the Sadducees, who seek to outsmart him by disproving the resurrection, that “in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”
Jesus effectively tells them: it doesn’t matter that this hypothetical woman had seven husbands who died without leaving a single heir. Obviously, she can’t be married to all of them in the afterlife. But Jesus explains, she won’t actually be married to any of them, because marital relations represent a social pact of this world, not the heavenly realm.
There may, however, be a bit more going on in this passage. Both Matthew and Mark emphasize that the seventh husband has no child with the woman. But that point doesn’t actually add anything to the Sadducees’ question. Why is it there? If the last husband had indeed enjoyed descendants with the woman, would it change the dynamic? For the Sadducees, no, since their point is already made with seven men married to the same woman. For Jesus, it’s safe to assume, his point about there being no marriage in heaven remains regardless of the exact nature of that last marriage. Yet Matthew’s and Mark’s accounts both provide the detail. I suspect the reason for this might be because romantic love does indeed transcend our earthly existence in some respects.
Remembering the famous Thomistic aphorism of grace building upon nature, the proposition that romantic love might in some sense continue on into heaven seems fitting. If I found my wife uniquely beautiful and attractive, if we in our first meetings, and many meetings thereafter, form a deep, wholly unique interpersonal connection, would it not seem reasonable to presume that such connections find their fulfillment, rather than their conclusion, before the eternal throne of God?
My question is what’s left for me to hold on to in my relationship between my wife and me?