This week's book giveaway is in the OCMJEA forum. We're giving away four copies of OCM Java EE 6 Enterprise Architect Exam Guide and have Paul Allen & Joseph Bambara on-line! See this thread for details.
You could use the ServletContext.getResourceAsStream() method to read the content of the .properties file into a Properties object, using Properties.load() / Properties.loadFromXml(), whichever one is applicable.
Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.