This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma 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.